The biggest flood disaster in Australia’s history has received a boost today from the Tennis community who were overwhelmed by the shear enormity of the disaster. Huge floods and walls of water smothered Queensland. Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania and South Australia are also struggling with floods.
Today at Rod Laver Arena a packed house helped tennis stars raise over $1 million dollars to help recovery and relief efforts.
Team gold were lead by Lleyton Hewitt who was accompanied by Caroline Wozniacki, Ana Ivanovic, Justine Henin and Novak Djokovic. Team Green were lead by Queenslander Pat Rafter with the help of Vera Zvonareva, Victoria Azarenka, Andy Murray and Andy Roddick.
Novak Djokovic opened with Justine Henin against Vika and Vera with Novak offering the camera man a kiss. Henin took a slow Roddick serve as the American cracked jokes from the back of the court as the girls got locked in volleys. Roddick joked that the girls were attractive after he pumped a few forehands at a squealing Wozniacki.
Murray then took on Ana Ivanovic and Wozniacki by himself as the crowd were amused by their moans after Courier gave Murray some stick for a terrible serve. Novak hilariously sat and played some volleys while sitting on the ground and drinking, before inning the point in the same position as the greens took a 7-2 lead.
Murray jokingly moaned while Wozniacki tried to smash him off the court. Roddick continued to be “distracted” with Ana saying “it’s a girl serve what do you want” after a feeble serve and grunt. The boys continued to tease Ana Ivanovic as Vika helped Ana replace her microphone in her dress.
After Ana proved easily put off by a deep growl of “Annnnaaa” from Roddick, Lleyton took to the court and chest bumped Novak to give the gold team a few extra points.
After a few tweeners from the boys, Vika tried one and completely missed much to her embarrassment. During less vocal rallies Roddick stepped in with pong noises as the light-hearted match continued as Lleyton referred to Ana and Novak as the team who should have won Hopman Cup. Tweeners were the flavour of the match until Ivanovic tried to hit one with the handle of her racquet and missed.
Roddick took over for a linesman and wondered how anyone ever missed a foot fault with the line right in front of them, joking that it’s “not rocket science” as he sat with a floppy straw hat and loaned his stolen sunnies to Vera. The displaced lines person stepped up to serve as Roddick sung “your job is easier.”
As Lleyton returned to the court he brought his kids out on to the court. Son Cruz was unimpressed as his dad suggested he should hit a ball as the players took on some more lines people. When Lleyton let out a loud grunt as he served with Cruz standing next to him, the little man started crying and was rescued by Caroline and returned to Bec Hewitt and grandma Hewitt.
With Roddick back on the court, Novak took over in the photographers booth after borrowing a camera, Novak saying to a posing Caroline “I can see much more than you think… I don’t wanna play anymore.”
On “match point” Roddick pushed down the net after a “anti-climactic” double fault from Rafter, pulling the net back up every time Hewitt tried to hit. The gold team took the first tie with some dodgy work from Jim Courier, who was kissed by Novak at the shake of hands, before Sam Stosur, Kim Clijsters, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer took to the court to watch a video from Rod Laver – a former champion born and bread in Rockhampton, Queensland.
Kim and Rafa (green) took on Sam and Roger (gold) with gold team leading 22-21 in what was instantly a slightly more serious hit up. Without microphones the group were quieter as Courier encouraged Kim, as a married woman, to just boss Nadal around and tell him where to go, joking “he understands you he just plays like he doesn’t speak English.”
Rafa and Roger treated the crowd to a quick hit between friends and rivals. When Kim Clijsters and Sam Stosur won a point from Rafa and Roger they jumped into the air and bumped chests, Sam did a great job receiving a thumping from Rafa’s forehand before he punished it down the line.
After Kim and Sam were declared the winners the players signed balls and hit them up into the crowds.
I know the players are busy but wouldn’t it be nice to see them do something like this every year. It helps us fans feel more involved and really where are you going to get a better atmosphere for such an event than in Australia! Besides someone always needs help even if there isn’t a natural disaster.
Sam Stosur $500/ace
ATP/WTA $10/ace for entire Australian summer
Ticket sales $300,000
Channel 7 $300,00
Total Garden Square and corporate donations $150,000
Players donating shirts etc from charity.
Total so far with QLD Energy Resources matching raised money $1.5 million