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Ad In: Celebrate 2020's first tennis grand slam with flag for Australian Open

Ad In: Celebrate 2020's first tennis grand slam with flag for Australian Open

January in Australia is usually a time for tennis aficionados to go bonkers for the opening to their sport's year -- the 2020 Australian Open. It's a prime time to buy your country's flag to cheer on your nation's competitors. This year's excitement is tempered however by the devastating bushfires affecting the continent and the world.

Defending champions Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Naomi Osaka of Japan should be the talk of Melbourne Park, but there is concern over air quality. The players -- Serena Williams of the U.S., Rafael Nadal of Spain, Roger Federer of Switzerland and Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark among them -- are responding by raising money through Rally for Relief. Australian Nick Kyrgios has pledged $200 for every ace he achieves. The sum has exceeded $5 million and the fundraising is expected to last throughout the summer.

Embed from Getty Images

Organizers hope the fires won't hinder players or fans too much, but already a player, Dalia Jakupovic of Slovenia, had to retire from here qualifying match on Jan. 14 due to stress from the smoke.

Australian Open facts
  • When: Jan. 20-Feb. 2
  • Where: Melbourne, Australia
  • Defending men's singles champion: Novak Djokovic
  • Defending women's singles champion: Naomi Osaka
  • Draw announced: Jan. 16
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