'It's Tough': Nick Kyrgios Breaks Down In Tears While Speaking About Bushfires
Nick Kyrgios has teared up after winning his first match at the ATP Cup in Brisbane as he spoke about the Australian bushfire crisis.
In a post-match interview where he discussed his promise to support fire-affected communities by donating $200 for every ace he hits at tennis events this summer, Kyrgios said it wasn't about the praise.
"I just think we've got the ability and the platform to do something like that," he said.
"Obviously my hometown is Canberra and we've got the most toxic air in the world at the moment, so it's pretty sad."
"It's tough," Kyrgios continued before tearing up, "sorry."
On Thursday, the Aussie wrote on Twitter that he would be donating $200 for every ace he smashes over the net this summer "to those affected by fires".
Kyrgios won his first ATP Cup match against Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 7-6(4) on Friday night, where he hit 20 aces.
That means he will so far be donating $4,000 to bushfire-affected communities.
Tennis Australia has also delivered on their promise to match Kyrgios, by announcing a special Australian Open Rally For Relief exhibition match at Rod Laver Arena on January 15.
During that match, the world's best players will hit the court to raise funds for bushfire relief.
"It is heartbreaking to see the devastation the bushfires are wreaking across the country and to see so many people and communities suffering,” TA CEO Craig Tiley said.
“The Aces for Bushfire Relief initiative gives the tennis community the opportunity to galvanise our sport to support and raise much-needed funds to help those who are most in need.
“We are working closely with the top players and have already had a great response, with many of them keen to help this incredibly important cause."
In addition, Tennis Australia is committing a $100 donation for every ace served at the ATP Cup in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney. Donations will go to the Australian Red Cross.
It's expected that throughout the singles, doubles, group rounds and the Final Eight matches more than 1500 aces will be served by players.
That's an estimated $150,000 that players could be helping to contribute.
The financial help will go to communities that have lost loved ones, homes, animals and businesses in the deadly fires that have caused a state of emergency to be called in both NSW and Victoria.
"Communities across the whole country have been devastated by the bushfire crisis and at this time of the year, with our events in full swing, tennis has a unique opportunity to support the relief and recovery efforts,” ATP Cup Tournament Director Tom Larner said.
“Most of the players are already keen to score aces and win a quick point, and having the chance to raise money for the bushfire appeal will give them that extra bit of motivation."
Tennis players including Alex De Minaur and John Millman have stepped up to the challenge after seeing Kyrgios' pledge, offering $250 and $100 respectively per ace.
Kyrgios set the fundraising drive into motion on New Year's Day.
"C'mon @TennisAustralia surely we can do a pre @AustralianOpen exho to raise funds for those affected by the fires?" Kyrgios wrote on Twitter.
The Open kicks off later this month but top players including Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are already in the country ahead of the ATP Cup.
Kyrgios was praised for raising his voice and throwing his name in the ring for a pre-Open exhibition tournament.
"... Brilliant idea," a Twitter user wrote in response to Kyrgios.
Main Image: Getty.