On Sunday 17 January 2010, during the Australian Open, 17,000 spectators and some of the world’s top tennis players gathered at the centre court Rod Laver Arena to raise funds for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti.
Roger Federer (promoter of the initiative), Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick, Serena Williams, and Kim Clijster are some of those who went out on court for this improvised and successful initiative which was organised in less than 24 hours. Thanks to the $10 AUS entry price, and contributions from players who were unable to participate, as well as from several international tennis organisations such as the ATP, the WTA and the ITF, a sum of 128,000 euros went directly to helping the Haitian people.
Rafa, Djokovic, Roddick, and Kim Clijster formed the blue team, while Federer, Serena Williams, and Australians Lleyton Hewitt and Samantha Stosur were the red team. Jim Courier, a former great tennis player on the international circuit who is now a television analyst, acted as umpire. Together, they all put on a fantastic show.
With a headset and microphone, the players were divided into mini, mixed doubles matches, but mostly made the audience laugh with jokes and comments. They put all their focus on the main objective, which this time was not winning, but helping those who have lost everything in the huge disaster hit one of the poorest countries in Central America.
We are grateful to photographer Miguel Angel Zubarrain for photos of the event.