The top tennis players in the world will gather again for a good cause on Sunday in Melbourne on the eve of the Australian Open. The special charity event titled “Rally for Relief” will benefit the recent flood victims in Queensland, Australia.
The event was announced by Queenslanders Patrick Rafter and Samantha Stosur during a press conference today at the Sydney Medibank tournament (video below).
Among the expected participants include Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Lleyton Hewitt, Kim Clijsters and Sam Stosur.
“Along with many of the other players I was moved by the devastation caused by the floods in Australia,” Federer said Thursday in Melbourne. “We just wanted to do something to help aid the recovery because we know there are thousands of Australians who will continue to suffer as a result of this disaster.”
“This is a terrible tragedy, not only the loss of life but the destruction of people’s homes,” said Nadal. “I am pleased to be able to contribute in some way to help bring it to the attention of the world and raise some money for the victims in the process.”
“As an Australian I cannot help but be touched by such an awful turn of events. It is a disaster on a massive scale,” Hewitt said. “Australians are incredible at pulling together in times of crisis and this is certainly one of those times. If the tennis community can also help play a role in the recovery then we should, both in Australia and internationally. I just think at a time like this it is a case of getting all hands on deck.”
The ATP and WTA are also making a pledge of $10 for every ace served by players at the Brisbane International, Medibank International Sydney, Moorilla International in Hobart and the Australian Open. Andy Roddick already donated $10,800 in Brisbane after doubling his pledge of a $100 per ace at the tournament.
The Rally for Relief event will begin at 2pm on Rod Laver court. Tickets are available for $20 AUS.
The tournament main draw begins on Monday.
Pat Rafter (Captain)
Lleyton Hewitt (Captain)
Donations can be made at: www.rallyforrelief.tennis.com.au
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