Maria Sharapova has pledged at least $25,000 to Australia’s bushfire relief and urged Novak Djokovic to do the same.
The five-time grand slam champion becomes the latest of a host of tennis stars to donate to the cause after Australian Nick Kyrgios kick-started a wave of support from the sport earlier this week.
Wildfires have raged across Australia for months, killing 23 people and burning about 6 million hectares of bushland.
Naval and air rescue operations were launched on Friday as mass evacuations of towns at risk of being engulfed by flames got underway.
“The month of January in Australia has been my home for the past 15 years,” Sharapova wrote on Twitter.
“Watching the fires destroy the lands, its beautiful families and communities of animals is deeply (heartbreaking).
“I would like to begin my donation at 25K. @DjokerNole, would you match my donation?”
A shoulder injury last year has resulted in Sharapova slipping to No. 133 in the world rankings.
The 32-year-old will compete in the Brisbane International which starts on Monday ahead of the Australian Open, starting on January 20.
Ashleigh Barty, the top seed in Brisbane, will donate her winnings at the tournament to the Australian Red Cross bushfire appeal.
The Australian, who won her first grand slam title at the French Open last year, had already donated $30,000 to the RSPCA to support wildlife affected by the fires at the end of last year, and would donate a further $382,000 were she to win in Brisbane.