Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer come together to donate over £132,000 to Australian bushfire relief… but Canadian player Brayden Schnur labels pair ‘selfish’ as he urges them to protest against playing conditions during Grand Slam qualifying event
- Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer took part in a charity exhibition on Wednesday
- Tennis’ star names turned out in Melbourne for the ‘Rally for Relief’ event
- Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, Coco Gauff and Nick Kyrgios also featured
- But Brayden Schnur feels top names should be supporting qualifiers this week
Nadal and Federer, with 39 Grand Slams between them, came together to donate A$250,000 to the cause, which is over £132,000.
However, despite their support, not everyone is pleased with two of the game’s greats, with Canadian player Brayden Schnur unhappy that Nadal and Federer haven’t supported those in Australian Open qualifying over the conditions they are facing in Melbourne.
Rafael Nadal took part in Wednesday’s ‘Rally for Relief’ at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne
Federer also competed, winning a one-set shootout against Australian Nick Kyrgios
(L-R): Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki and Roger Federer at Wednesday’s ‘Rally for Relief’ at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne
Schnur, the world number 103 who won his first-round qualifier despite the smoky air, was critical of players at the top of the rankings for not coming out and supporting those faced with the elements this week.
‘It’s got to come from the top guys – Roger and Rafa are a little bit selfish in thinking about themselves and their careers,’ Schnur told the Australian Associated Press.
‘Because they’re near the end and all they’re thinking about is their legacy and they’re not thinking about the sport itself and trying to do what’s good for the sport – so those guys need to step up.’
Canadian Brayden Schnur, who is seeded third in qualifying, was critical of Nadal and Federer
Nadal announced after the event that he and Federer would donate to the relief effort
‘You feel super dryness in your throat. That’s 100 per cent not normal and players who have asthma are at a huge disadvantage right now.’
Play was delayed for two hours on Wednesday as tournament officials waited for the smoky haze to disappear, while the day’s play was cut short after thunderstorms and heavy rain in the evening.
The smoky haze has severely effected the first two days of Australian Open qualifying
The poor air quality, caused by the Australian bushfires, has reaped chaos on the start of the qualifying tournament, with Dalila Jakupovic forced to retire on Tuesday after a coughing fit on-court.
In the evening on Wednesday though, at the Rod Laver Arena, many of tennis’ top players played an exhibition event to raise funds for the Australian bushfire relief.
As well as Federer and Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, Coco Gauff and Nick Kyrgios were among a number of players supporting the cause by playing in the light-hearted exhibition.
The light-hearted evening of tennis attracted tennis’ biggest names, including Novak Djokovic
Nick Kyrgios (R) came up against Federer and shared a joke with the Swiss great afterwards
(L-R): Roger Federer, Nick Kyrgios, Naomi Osaka, Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem, Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Petra Kvitova, Coco Gauff, Novak Djokovic, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Rafael Nadal at the Rally Relief event at the Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne