Stefanos Tsitsipas donates 10,000 dollars to Ukraine after his partner Maria Sakkari hit an unreturnable serve during a fundraiser match

Katarina Zavatska, who represented Ukraine in Billie Jean King Cup play against the US earlier this year, was the first Ukrainian player to take court on the night, partnering with Italy's Berrettini against Sakkari and Tsitsipas.

Aakash SrivastavaAuthor

Updated - 26 August 2022 01:41 PM

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The best of the tennis players gathered at Louis Armstrong Stadium on Thursday to play for peace and in order to raise funds for the support the humanitarian assistance in impacted communities in Ukraine and surrounding regions where Ukrainian refugees have fled.

The likes of women tennis stars in Iga Swiatek, Coco Gauff, Jessica Pegula, Maria Sakkari, Leylah Fernandez, Dayana Yastremska, Katarina Zavatska joined ATP stars including Rafael Nadal, Stefansos Tsitsipas, Matteo Berrettini and Carlos Alcaras in an exhibition event which aims to donate all the funds to GlobalGiving, the international non-profit identified by Tennis Plays for Peace ahead of the year's final Grand Slam i.e., US Open 2022.

While all the players participated in their designated draws, top-notch tennis player Stefanos Tsitsipas took an extra step to help the humanitarian actions as he pledged to donate 10,000 dollars to the charity event if his double's pair Maria Sakkari was able to hit an unreturnable serve against opponent Matteo Berrettini and Katarina Zavatska. Notably, Sakkari who appeared nervous missed the first serve but her second attempt was spot on. 

Katarina Zavatska, who represented Ukraine in Billie Jean King Cup against the US earlier this year, was the first Ukrainian player to take court on the night, partnering with Italy's Berrettini against the pair of Sakkari and Tsitsipas. 

"This year's fireworks are not the same. I really wish next year, we will celebrate this day with a free Ukraine," she said. Speaking of the event, five doubles set were played across the exhibition: Swiatek and Rafael Nadal opened the event as they took on John McEnroe and Gauff, followed by Pagula and Ben Shelton going up against Fernandez and Felix Auger-Aliassime.  

After Swiatek and Nadal clinched their game, Swiatek spoke about how the situation in Ukraine has affected her mental space over the last few months and called on Ukraine people to stay strong in her victory speech at Roland Garros in June. She even raised 500,000 Euros in support of Ukrainian children at the exhibition event in Poland, that also featured Agnieszka Radwanska and Elina Svitolina.

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