Fritz aces ‘Stay at Home Slam’, earns US$1m for charity

File picture shows USA’s Taylor Fritz returning the ball to Spain’s Rafael Nadal (out of frame) during their Mexico ATP Open 500 men’s final singles tennis match in Acapulco, Guerrero State, Mexico on February 29, 2020. — AFP pic
File picture shows USA’s Taylor Fritz returning the ball to Spain’s Rafael Nadal (out of frame) during their Mexico ATP Open 500 men’s final singles tennis match in Acapulco, Guerrero State, Mexico on February 29, 2020. — AFP pic

LOS ANGELES, May 6 — America’s Taylor Fritz outshone Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova to win a star-studded online tennis tournament, earning US$1 million for hungry children in the United States.

Fritz, the world number 24, and social media star Addison Rae beat Japan’s Kei Nishikori and DJ Steve Aoki to win the ‘Stay at Home Slam’, where players and celebrities faced off in a Nintendo tennis game while isolating because of the coronavirus.

Venus Williams and Naomi Osaka were among the other tennis players taking part from their homes, along with models Gigi Hadid and Hailey Beiber, while John McEnroe provided commentary.

“I was more nervous there than in any of my real matches,” Fritz said, according to the ATP site. “This was so much fun. Addison absolutely carried the team.”

Fritz and Rae will donate their prize money to No Kid Hungry, which fights child hunger in the US. All participants received US$25,000 for a charity of their choice.

Fritz faced down five break points while serving for the championship at 5-4, hitting an ace every time, and he fired a final ace to wrap up the match. — AFP

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