Zverev to donate $50K to Aussie fire relief effort

MELBOURNE, Australia — Alexander Zverev will donate $50,000 to the recovery effort for the bushfires that have devastated parts of Australia.

The seventh-seeded Zverev had pledged to donate all his prize money to the fundraising campaign if he won the Australian Open title this year. The singles champion gets $2.85 million (4 million Australian dollars).

He lost in the semifinals to Dominic Thiem, ending his winning streak at five matches at Melbourne Park. It’s his best run at a major to date.

“Yeah, unfortunately I could not make it happen with all the prize money,” Zverev said. “I will keep my promise. I will donate the $50,000 and hope that can help a little bit.”

Zverev promised $10,000 for every match he won at Melbourne Park.

Unprecedented fires across southern Australia have claimed at least 33 lives since September, destroyed more than 3,000 homes and razed more than 2.2 million acres (10.6 million hectares).

The fire danger is forecast to escalate across the southeast in the Australian Capital Territory and the states of New South Wales and Victoria as summer temperatures rise over the weekend, resulting in a state of emergency being declared.

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