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Players To Rally For Relief At Australian Open

Australia

Roger Federer© Getty ImagesRoger Federer is one of the many stars taking part in Rally for Relief

Tennis superstars Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Kim Clijsters, Sam Stosur, and friends will gather on Sunday afternoon in Melbourne for a special exhibition to raise money for the victims of Australia's flood disaster.

Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Lleyton Hewitt, Stosur, Clijsters and Pat Rafter headline a glittering list of tennis superstars who will put aside their Australian Open preparations for the Rally for Relief tennis match at Rod Laver Arena on Sunday at 2pm

Buy Rally For Relief Tickets

Many in the international tennis fraternity have been horrified by the disaster.

"Along with many of the other players I was moved by the devastation caused by the floods in Australia," Federer said today. "We just wanted to do something to help aid the recovery because we know there are thousands of Australians who will continue to suffer as a result of this disaster."

"This is a terrible tragedy, not only the loss of life but the destruction of people's homes," Nadal said. "I am pleased to be able to contribute in some way to help bring it to the attention of the world and raise some money for the victims in the process."

"As an Australian I cannot help but be touched by such an awful turn of events. It is a disaster on a massive scale," Hewitt explained. "Australians are incredible at pulling together in times of crisis and this is certainly one of those times. If the tennis community can also help play a role in the recovery then we should, both in Australia and internationally. I just think at a time like this it is a case of getting all hands on deck."

Queenslanders Patrick Rafter and Sam Stosur officially announced the Rally for Relief at the Medibank International Sydney as a key plank in a major fundraising campaign by the entire international tennis community.

"The plight of the flood victims has well and truly struck a chord with the entire tennis fraternity," Rafter said. "As a Queenslander I am really heartened by the concern and the keenness from our sport to get in and do something to ease the suffering. I know on the scale of things our contribution is only a small one, but it is good to be able to help out."

Sam Stosur said she was touched by the many expressions of concern for the flood victims from her fellow tennis professionals, officials, administrators, coaches and fans. Her own family was displaced by floods in the 1980s and she is keen to contribute to a big fundraising effort.

"A lot of us just want to make some sort of contribution. It breaks my heart to see what is happening to thousands of people in these floods. I am rapt that the biggest names in our sport are so keen to focus on this despite the fact that the Australian Open starts the next day."

Stosur is already donating $100 for every ace she serves this summer.

Players in lead up events in Brisbane, Sydney, Hobart, Adelaide, Perth and Kooyong have all been inquiring as to how they can help the flood -ravaged communities and pledging money and assistance.

Tennis Australia will co-ordinate the tennis community's fundraising effort which will run throughout Australian Open 2011. The campaign includes:

- Sunday afternoon's Rally for Flood Relief
- A gold coin donation at Saturday's Kids Tennis Day
- A special "Shirt off their backs" ongoing auction of autographed player apparel belonging to some of the biggest names in the sport
- An ATP and WTA pledge of $10 for every ace served by players at the Brisbane International, Medibank International Sydney, Moorilla International in Hobart and the Australian Open.
- Tickets are $20 for entry to Rod Laver Arena.

Tickets will be available through Ticketek from 3:00pm today at www.ticketek.com.au.

Tickets will also be available from the Melbourne Park and Fed Square Box Offices until 5.00 pm today, from 9:00 am 5:00 pm Friday and Saturday, and from 9:00 am on Sunday.

All proceeds will go to flood relief across the nation.

Courtesy AustralianOpen.com

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