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Kyrgios inspires fund-raisers to help fire victims

Let’s do it: Nick Kyrgios is keen to help bush fire victims, saying the tennis world can do something special.

Let’s do it: Nick Kyrgios is keen to help bush fire victims, saying the tennis world can do something special.  

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The tennis star calls for an exhibition tournament to raise money

Australia’s tennis chief announced a series of fund raisers for victims of raging bush fires on Thursday after an appeal from bad boy Nick Kyrgios.

Kyrgios, often a controversial figure in the sport, called for an exhibition tournament before the Australian Open Grand Slam, after blazes that have claimed 18 lives and forced mass evacuations.

“C’mon @TennisAustralia surely we can do a pre @AustralianOpen exho to raise funds for those affected by the fires?” tweeted the 24-year-old, who has handed a 16-week suspended ban in September after a series of outbursts.

Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley responded by saying fund-raisers would be held during tournaments including the Australian Open and the ATP Cup team event, telling fans to “stay tuned” for details.

“For weeks we’ve been watching the devastation caused by bush fires across Australia and the people affected are constantly in our thoughts,” said Tiley.

“We want to help these communities in a meaningful way and 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.”

Kyrgios, in Brisbane for the inaugural ATP Cup team competition, said the tennis world now had the chance to do “something special“.

“Tennis Australia, obviously, has been pretty proactive about it,” Kyrgios said Thursday. “I’m sure something will happen. I’m sure all of us will be involved in some way,” he added.

The bush fires are the major talking point ahead of the 24-team ATP Cup, which is being held in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney.

World No. 2 Novak Djokovic, who is based in Brisbane with Serbia, visited a koala sanctuary and said it brought home to him the devastation wrought by the fires.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 6:56:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/kyrgios-inspires-fund-raisers-to-help-fire-victims/article30463704.ece

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