Nick Kyrgios will have home on his mind during the ATP Cup as Australia continues to be impacted by the worst wildfires seen in decades.
As of Wednesday, 17 people have died throughout the country and more than 1,000 homes have been destroyed. Kyrgios’ hometown of Canberra is experiencing its worst air quality on record as local residents have been told to stay indoors.
Eager to help, Kyrgios tweeted on Wednesday to Tennis Australia and asked them to put on an exhibition fundraiser. The tweet quickly went viral as fans applauded the Aussie for looking to make a difference.
“It’s pretty tragic what's going on, especially with my hometown, Canberra, being under a bit of smoke, the most hazardous smoke in the world at the moment,” Kyrgios said on Thursday at a pre-tournament press conference in Brisbane. “It's obviously sad for everything that's going on… There's no rain predicted there for the next four months, so it doesn't look like the fires are going to slow down anytime soon, which is pretty sad. To see Canberra be like that, it's pretty tough.”
If Kyrgios hoped to create action, his tweet helped accomplish that. Craig Tiley, CEO of Tennis Australia, confirmed shortly after that a multi-city effort will be launched to support those who have been impacted by the wildfires.
“We want to help these communities in a meaningful way and will announce a number of fundraising and support initiatives that will be rolled out across the ATP Cup, Australian Open and our other events over the coming weeks,” Tiley wrote in a statement. “Stay tuned for further announcements.”