‘Rally for Relief’ raises two million dollars for Oz flood victims

Sunday, January 16, 2011

MELBOURNE - Tennis stars who are in Melbourne for the Australian Open, raised almost two million pounds by taking part in a charity event, ‘Rally for Relief’, to help the flood victims of Queensland.

Tennis Australia organized the televised event, which was held at the Melbourne Park on Sunday, ahead of the Australian Open starting on Monday.

The international tennis stars included Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Samantha Stosur, Caroline Wozniacki, Ana Ivanovic, Justine Henin, Vera Zvonareva, Victoria Azarenka, Novak Djokovic, Kim Clijsters, Andy Roddick and Andy Murray.

“We love what we do, but there’s far greater things going on in the world. So if we can all come together and support something like (relief from) these floods, I think it’s great,” the Herald Sun quoted Stosur, as saying.

Amid much banter and hi-jinks, Stosur and Clijsters played a few points in earnest in what was perhaps a prelude to a potential semi-final clash.

Stosur is bidding to become Australia’s first women’s singles champion since Chris O’Neil in 1978.

Nadal and Federer also briefly went shot for shot, giving a taste of the most likely men’s final match-up.

Nadal is seeking to become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four Grand Slam titles simultaneously, while Federer is out to defend his 2010 victory and stretch his record collection of major trophies to 17.

Funds raised from the event will go towards those affected by Queensland’s worst ever natural disaster.

A similar fundraiser was organized by Tennis Australia last year in support of victims of the Haiti earthquake disaster, with “Hit for Haiti” raising some 200,000 dollars in funds.

Raging floodwaters have swamped thousands of homes and businesses in Queensland, leaving at least 25 people dead and over 100 missing since late November.

Rail lines and highways have been washed away in what is shaping up to become Australia’s costliest natural disaster. (ANI)

will not be displayed