Spanish tennis players Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer together donated 250,000 Australian dollars (about 150,000 euros) during exhibition matches today Wednesday in Melbourne to raise funds for the victims of the massive fires sweeping Australia.
Nadal and Federer, ranked first and third in the world, joined the rest of the yellow soccer stars who had previously donated a total of A $ 2.8 million (about 1.7 million euros).
In addition to the two stars crowned together with 39 titles in the Grand Slam (20 for Federer and 19 for Nadal), many of the game's stars participated in the demonstration matches, including Serbian Novak Djokovic, American Serena Williams, Danish Caroline Wozniacki, Japanese Naomi Osaka, Czech Petra Kvitova, Austrian Dominic Thym, and American Coco Gove and Australian Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas and German Alexander Zverev.
These stars created a fun atmosphere through some singles, doubles and mixed doubles matches on a stadium with a closed roof under the sky of Melbourne polluted with smoke of fires.
Kirius, who played a group against Federer, said he only wanted to "have a little fun this evening," adding, "The issue is emotional and I hope we can overcome that."
The fires that killed 28 people, according to the official toll, destroyed more than two thousand homes and burned an area of 100,000 square kilometers (10 million hectares), which is greater than the area of South Korea, which confused the qualifying rounds to the main table of the Australian Open , The first of the major slam tournaments to start next Monday, as the start of the games that were scheduled for Wednesday was delayed by an hour.
The weather appeared to be stormy in the late afternoon, accompanied by heavy rain that forced the players to stop their games.
Organizers have so far ruled out the idea of postponing the championship.
The city of Melbourne has enough facilities within the hall to contest the tournament, in case the organizers are unable to hold it in the open air