Tennis: Świątek, Nadal to play exhibition matches raising money for Ukraine

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A few days before the start of this year’s US Open Grand Slam tournament, a group of tennis stars, including Iga Świątek and Rafael Nadal, will play exhibition matches. Ticket proceeds will be donated to help Ukraine.

The event was scheduled for August 24, when Ukraine celebrates its independence day, at Louis Armstrong Stadium – one of the courts where the US Open matches are played.

According to a release from the United States Tennis Association (USTA), the showcase event will feature, among others: Świątek, Nadal, John McEnroe, Coco Gauff, Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, Canadians Leylah Fernandez and Felix Auger-Aliassime, Belarusian Victoria Azarenka and others. The organisers also hope to have celebrities from outside the tennis community in attendance.

All the income from the tickets, which will be sold for USD 25-50, will be donated to GlobalGiving, an organisation that provides humanitarian aid to war-affected people in various regions of Ukraine and in neighbouring refugee crisis-hit countries.

Collections are also planned during the Grand Slam in New York, where organisers expect the amount raised to exceed two million dollars.

“The US Open is a stage that attracts millions of fans, and it is incumbent on us to translate that passion into help for those who really need it. This is an extremely important issue. I am proud of how our sport has come together to lend a helping hand to our friends in Ukraine,” USTA head Mike McNulty said.

Last year’s US Open was sensationally triumphed by Britain’s Emma Raducanu, who made it to the main ladder via qualifying. Świątek reached the 1/8 final.