Serena Williams wins Auckland Classic, donates winner’s cheque to Aussie fire victims

Serena Williams of the US reacts to winning a point against compatriot Jessica Pegula in their women's singles final match during the Auckland Classic tennis tournament in Auckland on January 12, 2020. (Photo by MICHAEL BRADLEY / AFP)

Serena Williams reacts to winning a point against Jessica Pegula in their women’s singles final match during the Auckland Classic tennis tournament on January 12, 2020. — AFP pic

WELLINGTON, Jan 12 — An emotional Serena Williams donated her US$43,000 (RM175,294) winner’s cheque from the WTA Auckland Classic to the Australian bushfire relief fund today.

It was the 38-year-old Williams first tournament victory in three years, but she tempered celebrations by saying her thoughts were with Australians.

“I’ve been playing in Australia for over 20 years and it’s been really hard for me to watch all the news and everything that has been happening in Australia with all the fire and… animals and people that have lost their homes.”

In addition to donating her winner’s cheque, Williams has also signed the dress she wore in the first round in Auckland and put it up for auction to raise funds for the Australian appeal. — AFP