Nick Kyrgios has put his hand up for raising funds to be used as aid for stricken families as Australia scorches from bushfires across the continent.
The Canberra player – whose own hometown and national capital is current experience some of the worst haze from the blazes – has proposed a fundraising match exhibition effort.
The controversial player whose dedication to good causes has been demonstrated in the past by his charity work with underprivileged Aussie children, made his suggestion in a New Year’s twitter post.
“C’mon @TennisAustralia surely we can do a pre @AustralianOpen exho to raise funds for those affected by the fires?,” the No. 30 said.
In reply, Tennis Australia supremo Craig Tiley had his outfit respond with a tweet of its own: “Stay tuned for an announcement soon @NickKyrgios. Great to have your support,” the federation said.
Tiley himself tweeted: “For weeks’ we’ve been watching the devastation caused by bushfires across Australia and the people affected are constantly in our thoughts.
“We want to help those communities in a meaningful way and will announce a number of support and fund-raising initiatives that will be rolled out across the ATP Cup, Australian Open and our other events over the coming weeks.
“Stay tuned for further developments.”
Kyrgios is currently in Brisbane for the ATP Cup preliminaries which begin on Friday, a fresh tune-up for the January 20 start of the Australian Open.
Meanwhile, as he prepares to begin the Spanish ATP Cup campaign on Saturday against Georgia, Rafael Nadal is tormented by the scheduling crunch caused by the head-to-head battle between the new event in Australia and the revised Davis Cup won by Spain less than two months ago.
“For the timing, it’s confusing to have two World Cups of tennis in (almost) one month,” the world No. 1 said on Thursday in Perth, one of three preliminary venues for the new endeavour.
“For me personally, it’s not an ideal situation for our sport. But that’ how it is working today.”
The 19-time grand Slam winner added as he prepares for his career Perth debut: “Tennis deserves something like this (a combined event).”
The ATP Cup was quickly dreamed up as a response to the Spanish takeover of the Davis Cup, with that classic competition reduced from four times per year, home-and-away format to a one-week, best-of-three set shootout which debuted last November in Madrid.
With the home side winning the title with Nadal contributing, the inaugural edition was a hit; but there are fears that if Spain does not dominate again at home future results could be dire.
Nadal is taking his likely opening match against Georgia’s NIkoloz Basilashvili extremely seriously – as it his opponent.
“He is the No. 1, it will be one of the toughest matches of y career,” the 26th-ranked Georgian outsider who stands 0-3 in the series said on Thursday. “I have to be in my best physical shape.
“On hardcourt at the moment I’m feeling great, I had a good pre-season, physically I’m OK and ready.”
Captain Francisco Roig – also a member of Nadal’s regular coaching team – said he is not sure how much his top player will be utilised.
“We will have a dialogue, we will see how the matches go and see how much Rafa will play.”
Nadal is backed up by fellow Top 10 player Roberto Bautista Agut.
“We arrived early here, and training has been working well. Hopefully all of our team will be in a good shape on Saturday,” the Spanish understudy said.