Barty pledges Brisbane prize money to bushfire relief


World No 1 Ash Barty has said she will donate all of her prize money from next week’s Brisbane International to the Red Cross Fire Appeal.
The fires, which have already claimed 24 lives and show no sign of abating, have sparked a global fundraising effort with firefighters now flying in from California to fight the blaze.


“It’s been really terrible, it really has. For me this started two or three months ago,” Barty said.
“We have to remember, this has been going on for a long time across our whole country. The first I saw of it was actually flying home … to the east coast and we could see some of the smoke and some of the fires.
“Obviously the worst of it is still out there at the moment. Now it’s not just the wildlife, it’s also affected Australians with their lives and their homes.”


Meanwhile, Romanian women’s world No 4 Simona Halep has devised a unique way to support relief and recovery efforts amid Australia’s bushfire catastrophe: she will donate money every time she yells at her Australian coach.
Other tennis players from across the world, sparked in part by a call to action from tennis player Nick Kyrgios, have pledged to donate A$200 to the cause every time they serve an ace. But, Halep noted, serving is not her strength.


“Well guys, you know I love Australia, but you also know I don’t hit too many aces,” she wrote on Twitter.
“Sooo I want to help and my pledge is this… every time I give @darren_cahill a hard time in my box during all my matches in Aus, I will donate $200,” she added, referring to her coach, Darren Cahill.
“This way I will raise a lot more money.”