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Top Players Raise Over A$200,000 In Hit for Haiti Fundraiser

Melbourne, Australia

Serena Williams, Roger Federer© AFP/Getty ImagesWTA World No. 1 Serena Williams shares a joke with ATP World Tour Champion Roger Federer during the 'Hit for Haiti' fundraiser on Sunday.

Roger Federer and Serena Williams led a handful of ATP World Tour and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour stars in a 90-minute Hit for Haiti charity fundraiser in Melbourne Sunday.

The exhibition raised more than A$200,000 (US$184,700). Proceeds raised from the event, along with significant donations made from the ATP World Tour, Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, ITF, Grand Slam Committee and Tennis Australia will exceed half a million dollars.

Abandoning their normal training routines ahead of the Australian Open, which starts on Monday, Federer, Williams, Rafael Nadal, Kim Clijsters, Novak Djokovic, Sam Stosur, Andy Roddick and Lleyton Hewitt took part in the hastily-arranged exhibition in aid of the earthquake victims.

"I was following it on TV and saw the devastation and I thought we should do something," said Federer. "It was a lot of fun. It's a great thing and I'm happy the players were also in such good spirits."

Agenor Focused On Rebuilding Program In Haiti

Representing the colours of the Haiti flag, Team Red (Federer, Williams, Hewitt and Stosur) defeated Team Blue (Roddick, Nadal, Djokovic, Clijsters, and late substitute Bernard Tomic) 7-6. Former World No. 1 Jim Courier, now a television analyst, was the chair umpire.

Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley was delighted with the outcome of the charity event. "It's fantastic to see the tennis family from around the globe band together to help make a difference in this time of need," Tiley said.

Haiti was decimated on 12 January by a devastating earthquake that measured 7.0 on the Richter scale. Spectators over the age of 12 paid $10 to watch the entertaining match, buying their tickets on the door.

Russian Maria Sharapova donated $10,000, while $20,000 was also collected in tin cans around the Rod Laver Arena and around the grounds.

On Saturday, Medibank International Sydney champion Marcos Baghdatis and Heineken Open titlist John Isner each donated $5,000 of their prize money to the aid appeal. Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic donated five per cent of their prize money for winning the Sydney doubles.

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