Tag: Tennis Australia

Tennis players livid after ‘slap in the face’ email from Australian Open officials


Tennis players have lashed out at officials after being asked to play in smoky conditions during qualifying for the Australian Open at Melbourne Park on Tuesday and Wednesday.

British player Liam Broady led the condemnation after describing an email from the ATP and the Australian Open as “a slap in the face”.

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LiamBroady tweet: We can't let this go.

The 26-year-old world number 234 said the email described conditions as “playable”, but Broady questioned whether they were “healthy”.

Broady, who was beaten by Belarus’s Ilya Ivashka in straight sets on Tuesday in the first round of qualifying, tweeted his grievance in a message with the heading, “We can’t let this go” and called for the establishment of a players’ union.

“Citizens of Melbourne were warned to keep their animals indoors the day I played qualifying, and yet we were expected to go outside for high-intensity physical competition?” Broady wrote.

The Brit cited examples of “multiple” players needing asthma medication, despite never having suffered from asthma, and women’s player Dalila Jakupovic being forced to retire.

German player Dustin Brown appeared to confirm Broady’s claims after he was knocked out by top seed Dennis Novak in qualifying on Wednesday.

‘I couldn’t breathe anymore’
Slovenian player Dalila Jakupovic says she could not walk anymore and was “really scared” she would collapse after a coughing fit in Melbourne amid heavy bushfire smoke choking the city.

“In 35 years, its the first time I had to use an asthma spray to help me breathe better …” Brown wrote, quoting Broady’s tweet.

Brown, currently ranked 203 in the world and in his 19th year on the tour, said that the doctor on court told him that he had “a virus coming on” before adding the hashtag “well said, Liam”.

Broady’s 21-year-old compatriot Jay Clarke said his “body literally failed” on Tuesday when he lost in three sets to Slovenian Blaz Kavcic.

“I pride myself on being one of the fittest players on the circuit I play,” Clarke said.

“My body literally failed me on that day and I wasn’t the only one. 25 seconds between points felt like five!”


Players are unhappy at having been asked to play in smoky conditions. (AAP: Michael Dodge)

Broady says lower-ranked players not treated equally

Broady also alluded to the inequality between players outside the top level of the sport, saying that players are not being treated equally.

“On tour, we let so many things go that aren’t right, but at some point, we have to make a stand,” Broady wrote.

“All players need protection, not just a select few.”

Despite playing in Tennis Australia’s bushfire fundraising match on Wednesday night, the game’s leading players have not commented on the conditions for players in the qualification tournament, aside from Novak Djokovic, who proposed delaying the tournament last week.

World number 23 Lucas Pouille said in French on Twitter that players had the option to not play.

“I keep reading that it is dangerous to play, reading messages from players saying that it is scandalous to play,” Pouille wrote in French.

“My question is this, why are you going on court?”

Tennis Australia has been contacted for comment.

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news

AFL revives State of Origin match for bushfire relief

Melbourne 3000

The AFL has become the latest sporting organisation to announce plans to support bushfire relief, including $2.5 million in donations and a one-off State of Origin match at Docklands next month.

AFL chief Gillon McLachlan made the announcement of the Origin clash between a Victorian and an Allies side, adding the league, clubs and players were joining together to provide a $1 million donation to the Australian Red Cross relief fund.

The State of Origin match will be played as a double-header with the Collingwood-Melbourne AFLW match — previously scheduled for February 29 — which will be moved from Victoria Park to Docklands.

The Victorian side will be guided by Richmond premiership coach Damien Hardwick, while the All-Stars will be coached by the Sydney Swans’ John Longmire.

All AFL clubs will be asked to make at least three players available for the match.

The last time State of Origin football was played involving AFL players was in 1999, when Victoria played South Australia at the MCG.

Nine years later, a one-off game — the AFL Hall of Fame tribute match — was played at the MCG, when a Victorian line-up beat the Dream Team (a composite side from other states and territories) to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Australian rules football.

The AFL would also set up a $1.5 million community relief fund to help rebuild football clubs damaged in fires, as well as helping football communities dealing with the aftermath of fires.

AFL’s bushfires response

  • $1 million donation to Australian Red Cross Relief Fund
  • $1.5 million AFL fund to rebuild, repair football clubs in fire-affected areas
  • One-off State of Origin match, Victoria v Allies on February 28 at Docklands
  • Match to be played as double-header with Collingwood v Melbourne AFLW as bushfire fundraisers
  • AFLW clubs to support bushfire donation collection points at matches in the 2020 season
  • $2.5m donation split between the AFL ($1.35m), clubs ($900,000) and players ($250,000)

“Our clubs, players and officials have been unanimous in providing a response that could not only raise money but also recognise the local communities impacted,” McLachlan said.

“And most importantly pay tribute to those thousands of volunteers and emergency services personnel who have worked tirelessly to protect us as a community.

“We know that those [fire-affected] communities are suffering now but they are also going to need our support as they start to rebuild.

“Sport builds bonds within communities and we want people to know they have the support of the entire football industry and that we will be there to help them rebuild facilities and programs and ensure people continue to come together.”

Australian sport kicks in for bushfire relief

The AFL announcement joins a string of pledges from players, codes and sports to provide contributions to bushfire relief.

The NRL has announced round one of the 2020 season will be a “bushfire relief round” to raise funds for fire-hit communities.

Australia’s Boxing Day Test team shirts were auctioned off to raise funds, bowlers donated $1,000 per wicket during the Sydney Test against New Zealand, and two one-day internationals against the Black Caps in March will be used for fundraising.


Every ace served by Nick Kyrgios this summer will lead to a $200 bushfires donation from the Australian tennis star. (AAP: Albert Perez)

In tennis, Nick Kyrgios pledged $200 for every ace he served in the Australian summer of tennis which was the catalyst for a Tennis Australia program, Aces 4 Bushfire Relief, involving local and international players.

Tennis Australia will also host a concert featuring a number of performers including Jessica Mauboy, and a Rally for Relief exhibition event headlined by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, both ahead of the Australian Open.

Various Big Bash League cricketers have pledged money for each six hit in the competition, while Australian great Shane Warne is auctioning his baggy green cap —as of Thursday morning, the highest bid is $520,500.

A group of Australian NBA basketballers with the NBA Players Association have banded together to donate US $750,000 ($1.09 million), while NBL superstar and projected NBA number one draft pick Lamelo Ball has pledged one month’s worth of his salary with the Illawarra Hawks.

Major bushfire donors Donor/sAmountAndrew Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation$70mPaul Ramsay Foundation$30mCrown/The Packers$5mNAB$5mColes$4mLeonardo DiCaprio via Earth Alliance $3.4mAFL$2.5mBHP$2mWestpac$1.5mWoolworths$1.5mAustralian NBA stars$1m+Commonwealth Bank$1mANZ$1mRio Tinto$1mOrica$1mPratt Foundation$1mJohn and Pauline Gandel$1mElton John$1mChris Hemsworth$1mKylie Jenner$1mHains family via Portland House Foundation$1mThe Perich Group $1mAuction for Shane Warne’s baggy green cap (purchased by the Commonwealth Bank)$1mMetallica$750kLewis Hamilton$730k approxKylie and Dannii Minogue$500kJustin Hemmes$500kNicole Kidman and Keith Urban$500kPink$500kBette Midler$500k
*Table does not include fundraisers, such as Celeste Barber’s efforts to raise tens of millions, or pledges conditional on future events, such as Nick Krygios’ commitment to donate $200 for every ace he hits.


Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news

Kyrgios to donate to bushfire victims for every ace, as Australian Open flags concert, exhibition fundraiser

Brisbane 4000

Tennis Australia says plans are in place to support those affected by the country’s bushfires after star Nick Kyrgios’s proposal for a charity exhibition match to raise funds ahead of this month’s Australian Open gained rapid support.

Key points:

  • Nick Kyrgios will donate $200 for every ace he hits this summer to raise funds for bushfire-hit communities
  • Kyrgios says it’s been hard to see the “hazardous” smoke blanketing his home town of Canberra
  • Lleyton Hewitt says Australian Open has the platform to provide significant support to communities

The world number 30 posted his idea to Twitter late on Wednesday, and by Thursday afternoon the concept was gathering pace.

“The more exposure it gets I think we have the potential to do something pretty special there,” Kyrgios told media ahead of the inaugural ATP Cup, where he’ll represent Australia in Brisbane starting this evening.

“All the heartbreak this summer; it’s pretty tragic what’s going on, especially with my hometown, Canberra, being under a bit of smoke, the most hazardous smoke in the world at the moment.

“To see Canberra like that, it’s pretty tough to see.”

Kyrgios later tweeted that he would donate $200 for every ace he hit this summer, while Australian teammate Alex de Minaur responded saying he’d go to $250 per ace, because: “I don’t think I’ll be hitting as many aces as you mate.”

The big-serving Canberran nailed 597 aces in 2019, and while he’s not expected to match that figure in a single summer, he is certainly likely to fetch a healthy sum for donations.

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Nick Kyrgios tweets I’m kicking off the support for those affected by the fires. I’ll be donating $200 per ace that I hit across all the events I play this summer

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Alex de Minaur tweets I like this I will go $250 per ace, just because I don’t think I’ll be hitting as many aces as you mate

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John Millman tweets I’m not at your level boys but I want to get involved. $100 for an ace over the Australian summer

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ATP Cup tweets Each ace served across the @ATPCup at all three venues will deliver $100 to the @RedCrossAU bushfire disaster relief and recovery efforts

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Dylan Alcott tweet: Getting involved and donating $100 per ace I serve this summer. Also might pimp my wheelchair and put some monster truck wheels on so I can bang a few extras down. Thoughts? #AustralianFires

The ATP Cup, which will be played between Sydney, Perth and Brisbane from Friday, announced in a tweet that every ace served in its inaugural competition will see the tournament donate $100 to the Red Cross.

Many of the game’s headline acts, including world number one Rafael Nadal and number two Novak Djokovic, are in Australia to play in the newly minted teams event ahead of the year’s first grand slam at Melbourne Park.


The ATP Cup says it will donate $100 to the Red Cross for all aces hit during the inaugural tournament. (AAP: Darren England)

Last year Kyrgios, John Millman, Nadal and Milos Raonic played an exhibition match in Sydney in a Team Australia vs Team World Fast4 format.

The deadly fires continue to burn across large parts of the country and Tennis Australia chief executive and Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said Tennis Australia “wanted to help these communities in a meaningful way”.

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

“We … will announce a number of fundraising and support initiatives that will be rolled out across the ATP Cup, Australian Open and our other events over the coming weeks.

TA put an official announcement out later on Friday that an “AO Rally for Relief” would take place on at Rod Laver Arena on January 15 — ahead of the Australian Open — to raise funds for bushfire relief and recovery efforts.

TA said top players were throwing their support behind the idea, with names to be revealed in coming days.

The Australian Open would also feature “AO Music for Relief” – with proceeds from a concert by Jessica Mauboy on the Melbourne Park live stage on January 19 to be donated to the Australian Red Cross appeal.

Other participating artists will be announced in days to come.

Tennis Australia also announced $1 million funding for communities to repair and rebuild damaged tennis facilities.

Lynn, LaMelo lead Big Bash, NBL efforts
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Chris Lynn tweets Hey Guys, for every six I hit in this years Big Bash League I will donate $250 towards the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal. It is special to see so many athletes from various sports getting in behind the real heroes who are fighting to save lives and properties around our country

The rush for donations has not been restricted to tennis, with Big Bash League star Chris Lynn promising to donate $250 for every six he hits for the Brisbane Heat.

“It is special to see so many athletes from various sports getting in behind the real heroes who are fighting to save lives and properties around our country,” Lynn tweeted.

NBL star and likely NBA draftee LaMelo Ball also joined in, declaring that he would pledge a month’s worth of his salary with the Illawarra Hawks to support bushfire victims.

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Illawarra Hawks tweet: "It's sad to see what is happening on the South Coast of Australia. People have lost their homes and everything they own. My parents taught me to help out wherever I can, so this is my way of helping out."

“It’s sad to see what is happening on the South Coast of Australia,” he said in a team statement.

“People have lost their homes and everything they own.

“My parents taught me to help out wherever I can, so this is my way of helping out.”

Australian ATP Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt said the Australian Open’s status as one of the country’s biggest events meant they had a platform to provide significant support.

“Christmas and the new year should be a happy time for these families and lots of these people are doing it pretty tough out there,” he said.

“So I think all of us feel like we would like to help in some way.”

Meanwhile, next week’s Canberra International Challenger event will be moved to Bendigo.

The move is being made due to the ongoing smoke over Canberra and the bushfire crisis.

Players are being offered busses from Canberra, and those still flying in to Melbourne have been asked to catch a train to Bendigo.

They are also being asked to delay travel to Bendigo until Sunday, if possible.

Meanwhile, Football Federation Australia (FFA) has announced the W-League fixture between Canberra United and Sydney FC on Sunday, January 5 in Canberra has been postponed due to the extremely hazardous air quality.

The WNBL has suspended Sunday’s clash between the Canberra Capitals and Perth Lynx due to heavy smoke “impacting the air quality inside the venue”. It is unknown when the game will be replayed.


More bushfire coverage:

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news