Ashleigh Barty Pledges Brisbane International Prize Money To Bushfire Victims

Donations have been overflowing for the victims of the devastating bushfire in Australia. As the emergencies continue to impact various communities, tennis superstar and World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty has pledged all of her prize money from Brisbane International to help the affected families through the Australian Red Cross

Ms Barty announced her donation during the WTA All-Access Hour press conference. 

“We have been kind of sitting down and thinking and with my team, with my family and everything and trying to think of ways that we can help,” Ms Barty said. 

“We have come to the decision that any of my prize money here in Brisbane will be donated to the Red Cross to go towards the families and homes that have been affected.”

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The tennis champion said that she has been thinking about the bushfire victims since the devastation happened a few months ago

“The first I saw of it was actually flying home from the Fed Cup final from Perth back to the east coast of Australia and we could see some of the smoke and some of the fires from the plane. So that really hit home with me,” Ms Barty shared. 

She went to a local RSPCA and donated $30,000 in November. However, with so much wildlife and people losing their homes, Ms Barty decided to do more. 

Brisbane International began on Monday, the 6th of January and Ms Barty has also qualified for the Premier tournament the following week.

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Other tennis players at the international tournament also pledged support for the victims. Samantha Stosur, Ellen Perez, Karolina Pliskova, Maria Sharapova, Novak Djokovic, Nick Kyrgios, John Millman and Alex de Minaur have promised specific amounts for every aces hit, whilst others matched each other’s donations. 

More funds for the bushfire victims are expected to be raised as the summer of tennis rolls, Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said. Part of the ticket sales of this tennis event will also go to relief efforts. 

Venus Williams to Join Ashleigh Barty, Sam Stosur at Pat Rafter Arena for Brisbane International

A loaded line-up of top tier tennis players in the world is set to compete at the Brisbane International this January. Home favourite Ashleigh Barty will lead the tournament along with Venus Williams, Sam Stosur and at least 30 other tennis champions. 

Brisbane International, an all-female tennis affair,  will run from the 6th to the 12th of Jan 2020 at the Pat Rafter Arena in Tennyson. Ms William’s debut at the tournament was announced just days after the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) confirmed that its top three players — Ms Barty, Karolina Pliskova (Czech Republic) and Naomi Osaka (Japan) — will also be competing.

“After so many years on the tour, it is good to play at new tournaments and experience a different city. Brisbane International is always spoken of so highly among the WTA players and so I wanted to see it for myself,” Ms Williams said via the WTA. 

Meanwhile, Ms Barty is primed to win her first Brisbane International, which is seen as the tournament that could prepare her for the Australian Open in Melbourne this year. She will be up against some heavy competition.

Also joining the current WTA champs are former Grand Slam winner and one of Australia’s tennis pride, Samantha Stosur. Emerging talent, Croatian-born Australian pro tennis star Ajla Tomljanović, will also serve at the event.

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Other champs and rising stars competing in the tournaments are Petre Kvitova, Kiki Bertens, Johanna Konta, Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys, Angelique Kerber, Dayana Yastremska, Sofia Kenin, Karolina Muchova, Alison Riske, Maria Sakkari and Donna Veki.

“To be able to add Venus, Sam, Elina and Ajla to an already blockbuster field says a lot about the Brisbane International and the city as a destination to visit,” Brisbane International tournament director Mark Handley told the press.

“Players arrive here at the start of the season fresh from a well-earned rest and we are looking forward to showcasing the best of women’s tennis with the best match-ups at the Queensland Tennis Centre.”