Del Potro, Djokovic, Federer & Nadal Lead 2019 Charity Efforts
The ATP Tour's players make a massive impact on the tennis court, with their efforts at tournaments inspiring countless people throughout the world. But they also perform important duties off the court through philanthropy, whether through their own foundations or by helping others with their charity work. ATPTour.com looks at some of 2019's notable charity moments.
Del Potro Hosts Open Practice Session For Tandil Food Bank
Juan Martin del Potro hosted a unique open practice session in Tandil this February in front of more than 1,000 fans to help raise food for a local food bank.
The World No. 4 practised for an hour and a half at Posta Natural on 2 February, collecting 730 kilograms of non-perishable food for Banco de Alimentos de Tandil, a food bank which helps feed 19,500 people in the Tandil area through collaborations with 132 local food service organisations.
"I love practising in front of my people in Tandil," said Del Potro. "We had a great time and I'm glad we could do this for a good cause."
Bryan Brothers Help Inspiring Children Foundation In Indian Wells
TEAM BRYAN organised 400 children, parents and coaches for a special experience at the BNP Paribas Open. This is the 16th year of the program.
In a partnership that was strengthened at the 2006 ATP Tour event in Las Vegas, The Bryan Brothers Foundation, The Inspiring Children Foundation and Wayne Bryan helped the children once more enjoy the experience of their year in Indian Wells with an opening night talent show, a clinic with Wayne Bryan, a doubles shootout, and getting to cheer on Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan for two sessions of the tournament.
“We are so proud to mentor and sponsor these children,” said Bob Bryan. “This is our chance to give to children what our parents gave us, an incredible life.”
Miami Open Unites
The ATP Tour’s players lent their time to Miami Open Unites at the 2019 Miami Open presented by Itau to support a wide variety of charitable causes, dedicated to giving back to the South Florida community.
Five-time doubles champions Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan visited Baptist Health Children’s Hospital and Cancer Center to spend time with kids at the facility. Alexander Zverev, defending champion John Isner and Roberto Bautista Agut visited the Greater Humane Society of Miami. The players groomed the animals in order to increase their chances for adoption.
Kei Nishikori, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Marin Cilic, Nick Kyrgios and Nicolas Jarry led a community tennis clinic and Q&A at the Hard Rock Stadium for UNICEF’s Kid Power program. Indian Wells champion Dominic Thiem, Miomir Kecmanovic and Guido Pella helped repair a home by painting and landscaping. Their efforts supported the work of Rebuilding Together, an organisation that repairs and rebuilds homes for Miami-Dade County’s senior citizens, veterans and disabled individuals.
Finally, Grigor Dimitrov, David Ferrer and Borna Coric served lunch to residents living at the shelter of the Miami Rescue Mission. The organisation provides food, shelter and programming to needy South Florida residents.
Roger Federer Foundation Helps Victims of Cyclone Idai
The Roger Federer Foundation's work in Malawi to educate children pivoted to provide critical assistance to thousands of people displaced by Cyclone Idai, which killed more than 600 people in Southern Africa.
"Cyclone Idai is a unbelievable disaster," Federer said. "And it hit the most vulnerable ones in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. It will take years for people to recover. My thoughts and solidarity are with the thousands of displaced people and families who lost their loved ones."
All of the Foundation's six model preschools were converted to evacuation centres to help the thousands of families in the district that were displaced, including 77 of the Foundation's kindergarten teachers.
Wawrinka, Thiem Lead ATP Stars In Monte-Carlo Charity Exhibition
Stan Wawrinka and Dominic Thiem took the role of team captains in a fun-filled charity exhibition at this year’s Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, held to benefit the Monaco Red Cross.
Cilic Joined By Modric & More Croatian Stars At Successful Charity Event
The Marin Cilic Foundation hosted ‘Game, Set, Croatia’ on 12 June, bringing together 30 of Croatia’s most celebrated athletes for a charity tournament at Zagreb’s Šalata Sports Complex — the birthplace of Croatian tennis — to raise funds to build a multi-functional sports playground for children from Tordinci Elementary School, who currently have neither an indoor gymnasium nor an outdoor playground.
“The idea came about last summer while I was training on Korčula. Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic were there and we joked how we were missing a fourth player for a doubles match. I posted a photo on Instagram and invited Dejan Lovren and Sime Vrsaljko to join us,” Cilic said. “A flood of messages came from athletes and that is how the story began.”
Footballer Mario Mandzukic and his doubles partner, 14-year-old Croatian junior player Patrik Jurina, beat Cilic and footballer Luka Modric in the final, which was live streamed by a Croatian national television network.
Djokovic Earns Lifetime Fan In Cancer Survivor In Cincinnati
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic won his third-round match at the Western & Southern Open before striking a single ball.
Djokovic held a boy named Joel’s hand walking onto the court. And before the usual pre-match meeting with the chair umpire, the top seed invited Joel to sit on his bench, and even opened up a water bottle for him. According to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center’s social media pages, Joel is a cancer survivor who was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma before he was born.
“I met him just before we walked onto the court. He was actually holding my hand, I was walking with him on the court and I actually heard after the first set the speaker said he survived a neuroblastoma cancer when he was a 10-day-old baby and he was wearing a shirt [that said], ‘I Am A Champion’,” Djokovic said on Friday after advancing to the semi-finals. “Those kinds of moments stay with him for a long time and I wanted to make him feel comfortable. I know what it means to him to be on the court and for me it was just a little bit of attention and a gesture to make him feel good.”
Tennis Stars Pitch In At Nowitzki's Charity Event
Superstars from all over the sports world came together in Dallas, Texas in September at the Southern Methodist University tennis complex for the fourth annual Dirk Nowitzki Pro Celebrity Tennis Classic to raise money for the Dirk Nowitzki Foundation, which awards grants annually to organisations focusing on children’s wellbeing, health and education.
“We’re thrilled to do this event again and have the support of celebs who fly in from across the country,” Nowitzki said. “Tommy Haas actually took a redeye to be here. He landed at like 7am, so the support from everybody means the world and hopefully we can raise a lot of funds again for our project this upcoming year.”
The Rafa Nadal Foundation's Study and Play Program Awards Grants Totalling More Than $100,000
The Rafa Nadal Foundation partnered with I-Con Sports to create its Study and Play program in 2015. And this year, they awarded grants worth $110,000 to 25 young Spanish athletes to aid in their pursuit of both high-level training and education at universities in the United States next year. year. Read More
The Rafa Nadal Foundation has donated more than 70 of these grants worth $345,000 since the program's inception.
In 2019, the foundation created a center in Valencia, Spain, for children and teenagers who are in a vulnerable situation. The comprehensive program implemented in this center includes an educational and school support aspect as well as a sport one, where sports and games become instruments for social inclusion and the promotion of attitudes and values such as companionship, responsibility, effort, equality, and more. In an initial phase, the foundation assists 40 children from Natzaret, a district with one of the highest rates of persons at risk of social exclusion. This is the second Rafa Nadal Foundation Center, after the first one launched in 2014 in Mallorca.
Knowles, Blake, Haas, Roddick & Bob Bryan Support Hurricane Dorian Relief Efforts
Mark Knowles and fellow tennis pros raised more than US $100,000 for Hurricane Dorian recovery and relief in The Bahamas during the inaugural Baha Mar Cup this November. Tommy Haas, Andy Roddick, James Blake, Bob Bryan, Coco Gauff and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario joined in the fundraising efforts over the three-day event, held at the The Baha Mar Racquet Club.
“It has truly been an honor to be involved in this tournament, especially alongside fellow peers and close friends who answered my call when I asked them to participate and come down to The Bahamas,” said Knowles. “The Bahamas has always been my home and to play the sport I love in support of this beautiful country and my fellow Bahamians is extraordinary.”
Isner Launches The Isner Family Foundation
John Isner has openly spoken about his mother’s battle against cancer and how much that has affected his family. The American in November announced the launch of his Isner Family Foundation to provide support to hospitals in the Dallas-Forth Worth area, helping contribute towards others receiving world-class treatment to aid in their own battles.
“Cancer is something that affects a lot of people for those who get it, but it also affects their families. I think everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer in a pretty negative way,” Isner told ATPTour.com. “But fortunately for our family, ours had a positive outcome. That’s what the foundation wants to touch on, to raise funds for incredible treatment, treatment like my mother got in North Carolina. It’s pediatric, but it’s not just pediatric care. Good, quality care in hospitals in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is what the foundation’s going to focus on.”
Nitto ATP Finals Competitor Ram Aces Kids' Clinic In Indiana
Rajeev Ram held the third annual EntouRaj Kids’ Clinic on 23 November, doing his part to support high school players in his home state of Indiana. About 50 high school players went through various drills with local coaches — as well as Ram — at the West Indy Racquet Club.
“This is our third edition of the EntouRaj kids clinic and it went off amazingly well,” Ram said. “It’s so inspiring to see these kids bring their incredible enthusiasm and energy to the court. It shows how powerful tennis and sport in general can be.”
Bryan Brothers, Jack Nicklaus Help Raise $1.2 Million For Charity During 'Fore Love'
Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan and golf legend Jack Nicklaus hosted the third annual “Fore Love” event in December in North Palm Beach and Jupiter, Florida, raising $1.2 million for the Bryan Bros. Foundation and the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation.
"Mike and I are are proud to have had another successful year with our Fore Love Tournament," said Bob. "We owe so much to Jack and Barbara Nicklaus, the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation, the incredible lineup of golf and tennis pros, and the generous support of our donors. We had a great couple days competing at the Bear's Club and Jack’s pristine grass courts. We are beyond grateful for the friendship of the Nicklaus family and the NCHCF. The proceeds from these events have and will continue to positively impact the lives of many children.”
Djokovic Launches Another Season Of Giving Campaign, To Match Donations
One year ago, the Novak Djokovic Foundation raised more than $100,000 during its Season of Giving campaign, allowing it to open two kindergartens in Serbia. And now, the World No. 2’s foundation is beginning another Season of Giving campaign, attempting to reach $100,000 again.
The goal of the campaign is to provide 200 children access to a quality preschool education by opening new kindergartens, and the Djokovic family is poised to match all donations for the second straight year.
Anderson Holds Third Charity Event, Wins
Former World No. 5 Kevin Anderson hosted Courtside Cause — his third charity event — in December at the Boca Grove Golf & Tennis Club. The event benefitted First Serve, Dezzy’s Second Chance Animal Rescue and Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas Alliance, raising more than $90,000 for those charities.
Anderson also received the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award in the 2019 ATP Awards, joining the likes of Ashe, former South African President Nelson Mandela, Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Andy Murray and 2018 recipient Tommy Robredo.