SPORT
21/01/2020 10:11 PM AEDT | Updated 21/01/2020 10:39 PM AEDT

Nick Kyrgios Kicks Off Australian Open Bushfire Relief Campaign

The Australian tennis player, who's promised to donate $200 per ace, served 14 aces and defeated Lorenzo Sonego in his first round match.

MANAN VATSYAYANA via Getty Images
Australia's Nick Kyrgios celebrates victory against Italy's Lorenzo Sonego during their men's singles match on day two of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 21, 2020. 

Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios not only defeated Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego during his first Australian Open match on Tuesday night, but began his running tally of bushfire relief donations.

It comes after he started his fundraising efforts during the ATP Cup Matches in the lead up to the Australian Open.

The 24-year-old sports star recently promised he will donate $200 for every ace he served during the tournament in Melbourne. On Tuesday he served 14 aces, which meant $2,800 is just the starting figure for his charity contribution. 

Grill’d Burgers has also promised to double his donation, adding another $200 for every ace, while Sportsbet is also donating $1,000 each time. 

After defeating Sonego on Tuesday, Kyrgios is through to the second round at the Australian Open. 

“Obviously it’s been a pretty emotional couple of months for all of us so I wanted to come out here and put on a good performance. I was really excited,” he said in his post-match interview with US player John McEnroe on the court. 

McEnroe also pledged to donate $1,000 per set win for the rest of Kyrgios’ campaign. 

Earlier this month Kyrgios and other tennis greats including Roger Federer and Serena Williams managed to raise $4.8 million during a special bushfire relief tennis night in Melbourne. 

“It’s been an emotional couple of weeks. Through ATP Cup it was practically why I was playing so hard … I just wanted to send a message,” Kyrgios reflected. 

“I just had dinner when I wrote the tweet (pledging to donate), that was the opportunity for me to use my platform and the whole Aussie team got behind it.

“I woke up the next day and it had kind of exploded and it was so emotional.”