Nick Kyrgios smashed down 20 aces to raise 4,000 Australian dollars (£2,120) for those impacted by bushfires ravaging much of his home country on Friday but admitted it had been “tough” being out on court at the ATP Cup in Brisbane.
Kyrgios, who has pledged to donate $200 for every ace he serves across the Australian summer, was taking part in his first match of 2020 as he defeated Germany’s Jan-Lenard Struff 6-4 7-6 (7-4).
Speaking on court after the match, however, the 24-year-old Aussie was humble about the money raised and instead focused on those whose lives have been impacted.
"I don't care about the praise too much. We have the ability and platform to do something," Kyrgios said.
"My hometown is Canberra and it's got the most toxic air in the world. That's pretty sad. It’s tough."
"[The money raised] is going to all the families, firefighters, animals, everyone who is losing homes, losing families.”
— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) January 2, 2020
Record breaking temperatures have exacerbated wildfires burning across Australia in recent months. Lives and homes have been lost while vast areas have been ravaged by fire with no end yet in sight.
Kyrgios’ decision to donate money for every ace he serves was followed by several other Australian tennis stars, including Alex De Minaur, John Millman, John Peers and Sam Stosur.
The ATP Cup have also stated that they will provide 100 dollars (approximately £53) for every ace served in the competition to the Australian Red Cross bushfire relief efforts.
Tennis Australia, meanwhile, have announced a fundraising exhibition match that will take place in Melbourne on January 15, ahead of the Australian Open, and feature some of the world’s leading players.