2022 Billie Jean King Cup Qualifier set to help tennis raise more than $1 million for Ukraine
ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The worldwide tennis community is poised to exceed its fundraising goal of more than $1 million for Ukraine relief through the Tennis Plays for Peace initiative. More than $225,000 alone was generated in conjunction with this weekend's Billie Jean King Cup Qualifier between the U.S. and Ukraine.
"The tennis community, it's just incredible. As I've always said, we're a family. We really are one big family, a close-knit family. When things get tough, and we know the last few years have been really tough with the pandemic and now with Ukraine, we really unite, we come together, do what's right, do what's best. We really look after each other," U.S. captain Kathy Rinaldi said following the tie.
"As I told the Ukrainian players when they arrived at our dinner, these players, whenever I reached out to them, it's the first thing they asked: 'What can we do?' It was first and foremost on our minds to make them feel supported.
"The money that they've raised has been incredible. As I told the Ukrainian players, No one should have to worry alone. That was our motto when we were going through the pandemic with our players: Nobody should have to worry alone, we're in this together."
Tennis Plays for Peace, launched last month by the sport's seven governing bodies—ATP, WTA, ITF and the four Grand Slams of the Australian Open, Roland-Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open—supports the humanitarian relief efforts for the war in Ukraine with money going to Global Giving’s Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund.
The following Billie Jean King Cup sponsors, as well as the partners and friends of American tennis, who used this weekend as a platform to donate include:
Billie Jean King and Ilana Kloss
Harrah's Cherokee Resorts
New Belgium Brewing Company
The USTA and USTA Foundation
Individual American donors also contributed to the fundraising campaign surrounding this Billie Jean King Cup tie, which was won by the U.S. in a deciding doubles match. Fans and others can continue to donate to the initiative at tennisplaysforpeace.com/.
"It's been an incredibly special week on and off the court. It was incredible tennis. Ukraine should be so incredibly proud of their players. They came out today and they came out swinging, they played some incredible tennis," Rinaldi added.
"I couldn't be more proud of the tennis community to come together, like I said. I think relationships are so important. I turned pro when I was 14, so I know so many people. Tennis has given me so much that I'm so thankful for. That's what tennis does. It's the greatest sport."