‘I will be the happiest person on the planet,’ says Alexander Zverev after incredible bushfire relief pledge

Alexander Zverev enters the court

He admits he is not the favourite to win the title, but Alexander Zverev says his pledge to donate his full Australian Open winner’s cheque to bushfire relief if he wins the tournament is the right thing to do.

Zverev has made a stuttering start to the 2020 season, losing his three singles matches at the ATP Cup, but he was in better nick during first-round clash against Marco Cecchinato at Melbourne Park on Tuesday.

The world No 67 secured a morale-boosting 6-4, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 victory over the Italian.

After the match he told those at the Margaret Court Arena that not only would he donate money to the bushfire relief efforts Down Under after every win in Melbourne, but would donate his entire $4.12 million prize money (about £2.17million) if he lifts the title.

“I will donate $10,000 for every match I win here and I know I’m not the favourite to win this event, but I’ll donate every single cent to the bushfire relief fund if I win the title,” he said.

He was asked about his generous donations during the post-match press conference.

“I just think we as the fortunate people, we as the people that are not affected in it, should try to help and should try to help in any way possible,” he said. “Obviously I’m more fortunate than maybe other people are. Every cent can help the Australian people, the Australian animals, the Australian nature in general.

“If I win the Australian Open, I will be the happiest person on the planet. I think that the (money) will be in much better use in the hands that know what to do with it, and know how to help others.

“For me, my parents always taught me to take care of first of all the ones that you love, but it’s also important to take care of the people that need it more than yourself.

“For me $4m is a lot of money. For the people in need it’s more important right now. So this is a gesture that I thought about a long time.”

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