Australian Open Threatened by Devastating Fires


Kenzie Moten, Contributor

Melbourne Park is preparing for the Australian Open, which will be the 115th year that this annual tournament will take place. Fans of the tennis world are excited about watching it on TV, but fans that are visiting Australia to watch are heavily concerned with the bulging fires taking place right now.

The fires are located all around the mass continent and have been vicious, while burning alive a billion of precious exotic species. According to CNN, the fires sparked on Dec. 26 and have grossed 27 human fatalities so far. But because the Open is taking place on Jan. 20, tennis stars like Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, and Roger Federer are all helping out by donating $200 for every ace that they hit during a match at the Open.

Nick Kryrios, a native of Australia, started the trend and campaign from sporting names around the country including Lamelo Ball, an American NBL star. “It’s sad to see what is happening on the south coast of Australia, people have lost their homes and everything they own. My parents taught me to help out wherever I can, so this is my way of helping out,” Ball explained.

The charity matches for bushfire victims will take place on Jan. 15, along with the wildcard match featuring Maria Sharapova, who has donated $17,400 to the fires as well. Serena Williams also donated her entire prize money after winning the Auckland Open on Jan. 8.

Everything involving the tournament is planned in great hopes of bright, clean, and smooth tennis despite smoke from the fires that may cause delay of play. But because so much attention is drawn to Australia, many players signed to compete in the big tournament, which should make it even more interesting.