Australia began the ATP Cup at home in Brisbane with Alex de Minaur getting out of danger while trailing a set and 4-2 against seventh-ranked Alexander Zverev on Friday’s opening day of the new 24-nation event.
The home side secured a 2-0 winning scoreline over Boris Becker’s Germany as nick Kyrgios chipped in with a singles win after shedding tears over the state of the nation which is being ravaged by destructive and deadly bushfires.
Kyrgios, who wears his heart on his sleeve in most circumstances, made no exception, his eyes watering as he spoke of the haze shrouding his hometown of Canberra, the national capital, as a result of the disaster which is continuing to burn millions of hectares.
The No. 30 has promised to donate A$ 200 ($ 140) for each ace he hits during January’s tennis summer, which will conclude with the Australian Open starting on January 20.
Kyrgios did his bit for the cause, firing 20 aces to earn A$ 4000 for bushfire aid as he beat Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 7-6(4). De Minaur fought back to secure the win for Australia, defeating Zverev 4-6, 7-6(3),6-2.
‘We’ve got the ability and the platform to do something,” a choked-up Kyrgios said post-match.
“My hometown is Canberra and we’ve got the most toxic air in the world at the moment, that’s pretty sad.‘It’s tough. Sorry.
‘It’s all going to all the families, firefighters, animals, everyone who is losing homes, losing families… it’s a real thing. It’s bigger than tennis.”