Kyrgios to donate $140 for each ace to help bushfire relief04 January 2020 AFP, Sydney
Nick Kyrgios has pledged Aus$200 (US$140) for each ace he serves across the Australian summer of tennis to support victims of bushfires raging around the country, with the ATP Cup Friday also promising help.
The temperamental Australian, a controversial figure in the sport with a bad boy reputation, has been at the forefront of rallying support among players to help.
"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," tweeted the 24-year-old, who was handed a 16-week suspended ban in September after a series of outbursts.
His Australian teammate at the inaugural ATP Cup Alex de Minaur went one better.
"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," he replied.
The blazes have claimed 18 lives and forced mass evacuations, with the country bracing for a weekend heatwave expected to fan the deadly infernos.
Kyrgios, who will also play the Kooyong Classic and the Australian Open Grand Slam this month, on Thursday issued a call for fundraisers for victims of the fires, which prompted Australia's tennis chief Craig Tiley to get on board.
"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," said Tiley.
The fires have been a big talking point ahead of the 24-team ATP Cup, which gets underway Friday in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney with top names including Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal playing.