Indigenous tennis gun, Ash Barty, has pledged to donate her entire prize money from this week’s Brisbane International tournament in response to the devastating bushfires ravaging the east coast.
The potential donation will be in excess of $360,000 and will go to the Australian Red Cross should the World No. 1 be successful in winning the tournament.
“I’ve been sitting down and thinking with my team and my family … trying to think of ways we can help,” Barty said.
“We have come to the decision any of my prize money here in Brisbane will be donated to the Australian Red Cross to go towards the families and homes affected.”
As World No. 1, Barty has proceeded to the tournament’s second round giving her a jump start to the competition.
After American Jennifer Brady beat the competition’s wildcard entry, former World No. 1 Maria Sharapova, Barty is set to play Brady in her first match for the tournament.
The top seed will take on Brady at Pat Rafter Arena on Thursday January 9 from 11am local time.
Late last year, Barty also contributed $30,000 to the RSPCA to help wildlife hurt in the bushfires.
At a press conference held on Sunday, Barty explained her emotion at seeing the bushfires and encouraged everyone to chip in to relief efforts.
“The first time I saw … it was flying home from the Fed Cup final from Perth back to the east coast,” she said.
“We could see the smoke haze and some of the fires from the plane, so that really hit home.”
The World No.1 also commended other athletes contributing to the various bushfire appeals and the range of ways money has been raised.
“There have been really great initiatives from cricketers, tennis players, golfers, soccer players all over the country trying to help out,” Barty said.
Barty’s pledge comes after fellow Australian tennis player, Nick Kyrgios, made a personal pledge of $200 for every ace serve throughout the summer season.
Kyrgios also raised the idea of a charity match to Tennis Australia, who responded by announcing they will hold a ‘Rally for Relief’ exhibition match at Rod Laver Arena on January 15.
The Brisbane International runs until Sunday January 12.