The tennis world has dug deep to raise a staggering $4.8 million for bushfire victims in a night of thrilling entertainment at the Rally for Relief on Rod Laver Arena.
The man largely responsible for kickstarting the initiative, Australian ace Nick Kyrgios, was overcome with emotion as the total figure of $4,826,014 was revealed to him on court.
He delighted a packed crowd in Melbourne as he took on Roger Federer in a one-set finale that was the centrepiece of the night’s event.
“I just got goosebumps when you said that number,” Kyrgios said.
“It’s been an emotional couple of weeks. I just wanted to send a message, I just had to do it so I wrote the Tweet.
“The whole Aussie team got behind it and I woke up the next day and it exploded, it was so emotional.
“Back home at Canberra I couldn’t even go outside(due to the smoke), it was hard and I’m just so happy that we had Roger, Rafa, Novak – some of the greats – to get behind this.”
The one-off special event brought together some the biggest names in world tennis including Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams, who donated their time to encourage support for charities helping deal with the bushfire crisis.