At least eight people have died and more than 200 homes destroyed over the last week in south-eastern Australia, leaving thousands homeless amid some of the worst scenes the country has witnessed.
In an effort to do everything he can to try and help the fight against the disaster, Australian tennis star Kyrgios has pledged to donate A$200 for every ace he hits at the international tournament this week, which started with 20 in his opening victory against Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany.
"I don't care about the praise too much. We have the ability and platform to do something," Kyrgios said afterwards, tearing up as he spoke on court.
"I just chucked up a tweet and everyone got behind it. It is bigger than tennis.
"It's going to all the families, firefighters, animals, everyone who is losing homes, losing families. It's a real thing.
"My hometown is Canberra and it's got the most toxic air in the world. That's sad. It is tough."
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A number of fellow professionals have joined Kyrgios in committing to the ace-donation plan, while Tennis Australia will help support the relief efforts by holding a number of fund-raising events throughout the event, with a specially-arranged exhibition set to feature Kyrgios at Rob Laver Arena on 15 January with “many of the world’s best players” also set to be announced.
"It is heartbreaking to see the devastation the bushfires are wreaking across the country," said Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley.
"We are working closely with the top players and have already had a great response, with many of them keen to help this incredibly important cause."
Tennis Australia have pledged A$100 for every ace recorded across events in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney this weekend, while a number of Australian jockeys including Tommy Berry and Damian Lane have also offered to give A$250 for every winner they race in January.
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