Aust Open stars unite for bushfire event

Jason Phelan and Murray Wenzel
Serena Williams will take part in the Rally for Relief exhibition event in Melbourne

Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Nick Kyrgios will headline a charity event ahead of the Australian Open that will have a new air quality policy as organisers grapple with issues related to the bushfire crisis.

Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley announced on Wednesday that the Rally for Relief will be held on Rod Laver Arena on the evening of January 15 with proceeds going to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal.

Tiley also confirmed the Open will go ahead as scheduled with an air quality policy in place after concerns had been raised about the potential for smoke from bushfires burning in Victoria's east to affect the health of players and fans.

"This is a new experience for not only us but across the world in this sport," Tiley said.

"But we lead the world with the extreme heat policy and we expect to do the same around air quality.

"We do have three stadiums with roofs so play will always continue.

"But what will be new is that we will have some real-time (air quality) monitoring on-site and we'll use that analysis to make some decisions around the safety and well-being of players and fans.

"I think the players understand that this is not something that we can do anything about and they've been gracious and very cooperative.

"They want to play."

Rafael Nadal, Naomi Osaka, Caroline Wozniaki and Stefanos Tsitsipas will also take part in Rally for Relief, with more players to be announced.

"I'm really proud of the playing group because the number of calls and emails I've got with everyone stepping forward and either giving money or making themselves available," Tiley said.

"The format is going to be pretty cool ... it's going to be a combination of fun and seriousness."

World No.2 and ATP players' council president Novak Djokovic said he had been impressed with Tennis Australia's action since flagging the risks last week.

"It was the right move; there's been a lot of talk and I'm really glad that Tennis Australia's taking all the necessary measures," he said ahead of Serbia's move from Brisbane to Sydney for the ATP Cup quarterfinals.

"They have the three covered courts plus the eight additional indoor courts, which is going to be enough if it comes to the extreme conditions."

Tickets are available from Ticketmaster with all proceeds going to bushfire disaster relief charities.