Nick Kyrgios has sparked an incredible response from the Australian tennis community after pledging to donate $200 to bushfire victims for every ace he hits across the summer.
Tennis Australia say plans are in place to support those impacted by the country's bushfires after Kyrgios's proposal for a charity exhibition match to raise funds ahead of this month's Australian Open gained rapid support.
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The world No.30 posted his idea to Twitter late on Wednesday and by Thursday afternoon the concept was gathering pace.
"The more exposure it gets I think we have the potential to do something pretty special there," Kyrgios told media ahead of the inaugural ATP Cup, where he'll represent Australia in Brisbane from Friday.
"All the heartbreak this summer; it's pretty tragic what's going on, especially with my hometown, Canberra, being under a bit of smoke, the most hazardous smoke in the world at the moment.
"To see Canberra like that, it's pretty tough to see."
Kyrgios later tweeted that he would donate $200 for every ace he hit this summer, while Australian teammate Alex de Minaur responded saying he'd go to $250 per ace because "I don't think I'll be hitting as many aces as you mate."
— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) January 2, 2020
— alex de minaur (@alexdeminaur) January 2, 2020
Fellow Aussie stars John Millman and Sam Stosur also got in on the act, while the ATP Cup pledged to donate $100 for every ace hit at the 10-day event starting Friday.
For every ACE I serve over the Aussie summer I’ll donate $200 to the bushfire relief to help raise funds to the families, firefighters and animals who are affected by this disaster. Please join me in any way you can #ausfires #ClimateEmegency #AustralianFires
— Samantha Stosur (@bambamsam30) January 2, 2020
— John Millman (@johnhmillman) January 2, 2020
Each ace served across the @ATPCup at all three venues will deliver $100 to the @RedCrossAU bushfire disaster relief and recovery efforts.
With more than 1500 aces expected to be served, the tournament contribution is expected to exceed $150,000.
— ATPCup (@ATPCup) January 2, 2020
Tennis Australia planning fundraisers
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 to be played between Sydney, Perth and Brisbane from Friday.
Many of the game's headline acts, including world No.1 Rafael Nadal and No.2 Novak Djokovic, are in Australia to play in the newly-minted teams event ahead of the year's first grand slam at Melbourne Park.
Last year Kyrgios, Millman, Nadal and Milos Raonic played an exhibition match in Sydney in a Team Australia vs Team World Fast4 format.
Australian ATP Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt said the Australian Open's status as one of the country's biggest events meant they had a platform to provide significant support.
"Christmas and the new year should be a happy time for these families and lots of these people are doing it pretty tough out there," he said.
"So I think all of us feel like we would like to help in some way."
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."
Great Nick! There will be some cash going to the very needy soon!
— Rennae Stubbs (@rennaestubbs) January 2, 2020
👑👑👑 King Kyrgios
— Ryan Reynolds (@Reynolds_R) January 2, 2020
This could be the turning point for Nick Kyrgios. Let’s hope so
— wally mason (@walmason) January 2, 2020
good to see this kind of leadership
— Giovanni Torre (@GiovanniTorre) January 2, 2020
Well done Nick, leading the way
— Susie20RF (@pandsreid) January 2, 2020
— Andrew Bailey (@bail3yy) January 2, 2020