'Absolute legend': Nick Kyrgios' brilliant gesture for bushfire victims

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor

Nick Kyrgios has called on Tennis Australia to organise an exhibition event to raise money for bushfire victims.

The worst blazes continue to burn in Victoria's east and on the NSW south coast, where eight people have died, others are missing and hundreds of homes have been destroyed.

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With some of the world’s biggest tennis stars in Australia for the upcoming ATP Cup and Australian Open - including Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic - Kyrgios sees it as the perfect chance to try and help.

“C’mon Tennis Australia surely we can do a pre Australian Open ‘exho’ to raise funds for those affected by the fires?” Kyrgios tweeted on Wednesday.

Kyrgios’ followers - including John Millman - commended him for the idea and also called upon Tennis Australia to act.

“There’s a lot more important things than tennis.. terrible seeing the devastating effect this fire season has had,” Millman said.

“The Australians out there fighting them are true blue Aussie heroes and our attention should be on them.”

Tennis Australia takes action

On Thursday morning, Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley said the public should "stay tuned" for the announcement of a number of initiatives, beginning at the inaugural ATP Cup in Sydney, Perth and Brisbane from Friday.

The deadly fires continue to burn across the country and Tiley said Tennis Australia "wanted to help these communities in a meaningful way".

"For weeks we've been watching the devastation caused by bushfires across Australia and the people affected are constantly in our thoughts," he said.

"We ... will announce a number of fund raising and support initiatives that will be rolled out across the ATP Cup, Australian Open and our other events over the coming weeks.

"Stay tuned for further announcements."

Nick Kyrgios, pictured here arriving for practice ahead of the 2020 ATP Cup.
Nick Kyrgios arrives for practice ahead of the 2020 ATP Cup. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Cricket Australia pitches in to help

Australia's one-day series against New Zealand in March will be used to raise funds for bushfire ravaged towns.

Cricket Australia confirmed on Thursday that money raised from the two matches at the SCG would go to the Red Cross.

Signed playing gear from the Boxing Day Test will also be auctioned off for victims of the fires, which have engulfed NSW throughout the summer.

This week's pink Test at the SCG will still go ahead as planned, with a minute's applause to be observed before play to honour firefighters and emergency services.

The McGrath Foundation will also remain as the chief charity partner for the Test, as has been the case since 2009 as it raises money for breast cancer nurses.

Smoke from the fires threatens to have play stopped if it becomes too unhealthy or threatens vision, with a Big Bash match called off in Canberra in December.

Sydney remained hazy on Thursday, with the smoke expected to be at its worst on day two on Saturday.

Several Sydney grade matches have already been affected this summer, with paramedics called twice to at least one match for two non-asthmatic players.

with AAP