Tennis

Simona Halep comes up with a sound way to raise funds for fire victims

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 Darren Cahill.

Other tennis players from across the world, sparked in part by a call to action from Australia's Nick Kyrgios, have pledged to donate A$200 (S$187) 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.

"This way I will raise a lot more money."

Halep, who resumed working with Cahill last year after the pair split late in 2018, often animatedly remonstrates towards her box during matches.

Meanwhile, women's world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty from Australia has said she will donate all of her prize money from this week's Brisbane International to the Red Cross Fire Appeal.

Most of the best tennis players are already in Australia for the inaugural ATP Cup and other tournaments before the Jan 20-Feb 2 Australian Open.

Alize Cornet of France, who like Halep is not known for her serving prowess, came up with a fundraising idea of her own.

She said on Twitter: "And as Simona was saying, I won't be raising much money either if I have to count on my serve! Sooo I will donate 50$ for every drop-shot winner that I'll make at the Australian Swing. Much more efficient."

Meanwhile, men's world No. 2 Novak Djokovic said organisers may have to consider delaying the Australian Open if Melbourne's air quality continues to be affected by the fire. - REUTERS

Tennis