The flood crisis which hit the Australian state of Queensland has captured the hearts and minds of people in Australia and around the world. The devastation has been beyond imaginable; even the city of Brisbane, the...
The flood crisis which hit the Australian state of Queensland has captured the hearts and minds of people in Australia and around the world. The devastation has been beyond imaginable; even the city of Brisbane, the third largest city in Australia suffered immense flooding and damage. Lives have been decimated. Property left in ruins. But the people there are made of tough stock and have started the rebuilding. Queensland is one of the great breeding grounds for the greats of Australian tennis; people like Rod Laver came from there. The city where he was born and grew up, Rockhampton, was in the middle of it all and 95% of the city was under water, even the airport. More recently Pat Rafter and Samantha Stosur are two that come from Queensland and Sam lead the way by starting the donation appeal saying she’d donate $100 for every ace she hit. Andy Roddick followed and step by step the whole tennis community put its arms up to show support and help. In fact Sam told me that as she had not served enough aces she was increasing it to $500 an ace. The brand new tennis facility in Brisbane with the centre court, the Pat Rafter Arena, was totally submerged and left with layers of thick mud. This is where the ATP/WTA tournament is played. Things culminated with the Rally for Relief charity day as all the big guns of tennis turned out to play a series of fun filled matches on Rod Laver Arena on the eve of the Australian Open. Roger, Rafa, Kim, Lleyton, Andy and Andy, Ana, Sam, Novak ... they were all there. The public poured in thousands of dollars as did many sponsors. The ATP and WTA are donating $10 for every ace served while the ITF has made a sizable contribution to the restoration of the Pat Rafter Arena. In excess of $1.8million was raised and the fund raising is continuing.