Serena Williams pays tribute to koalas affected by wildfires at Australian Open with nail art

Tennis champion also donated entire $43,000 prize fund to Australian wildfire relief efforts

Sarah Young
Thursday 23 January 2020 10:28
Rescuers use cherry picker to reach koala in tree in fire-ravaged area in Australia

Serena Williams has used her latest on-court look to pay tribute to the millions of animals that have been killed in the Australian wildfires.

On Wednesday, the 38-year-old tennis champion played her second-round match against Slovenia’s Tamara Zidanšek at the 2020 Australia Open.

And, while she was focused on winning the match, Williams wanted to show that her thoughts were with those affected by the devastating blazes raging through the country.

Eagle-eyed fans spotted that one of Williams’ fingernails was painted differently to the others, which featured crystals and pastel-coloured tips.

(Getty Images

On her left hand’s ring finger, the sportswoman chose to have her nail painted with a koala design in a subtle tribute to estimated 25,000 of them that have died in the fires.

Experts have stated that around one billion animals have been killed in total, while some species may already have gone extinct.

Earlier this month, Williams shared her concern over the wildfires on Instagram with a post that featured images of koalas being rescued along with ways her followers could help the cause.

“I am heartbroken over the devastation of the wildfires in Australia. With the loss of over 500 million animals and many people left without their homes, we need to act now to help in whatever way we can,” she wrote.

(Getty Images

Williams also donated her entire $43,000 (£33,113) prize money after winning the ASB Classic Match in New Zealand on 13 January to Australian wildfire relief efforts.

“I've been playing Australia for over 20 years and it's been really hard for me to watch all the news,” she said in a statement at the time.

“Everything that's been happening in Australia with all the fires and over a billion animals and people who have lost their homes.

“So I decided that I would donate all my prize money for a great cause.”

Williams joins a long list of celebrities who have helped raise funds for the relief effort in Australia, including Kylie Jenner, Chris Hemsworth, Nicole Kidman and Pink.

So far, millions of acres of land has been destroyed in the blazes raging through Australia, which have killed 28 people and torched thousands of homes.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in