Bob and Mike Bryan, the most successful men’s tennis team in tennis, announced on Thursday that they will raise funds at this month’s Indian Wells tournament to support Elina Svitolina’s drive to provide aid relief to Ukrainian refugees.
Former world number three Svitolina is trying to unite the tennis world behind her country after Russia invaded and has said she will donate her prize money from the ongoing Monterrey Open in Mexico to the Ukrainian army.
The Bryan twins have announced that they will be launching a “Rackets for Refugees” auction, which will feature autographed tennis racquets donated by current and former tennis players, at the ATP and WTA event in Indian Wells, in California.
“We are all heartbroken to see the tragedy unfold in Ukraine,” Bob Bryan said in a statement. “Children should be on playgrounds and tennis courts and not in bomb shelters and trains fleeing their homes.
“The world of tennis is a close-knit family, and I’m confident that when we launch the auction on March 8, we’ll have an incredible level of support from the players.”
The Bryans have won a professional-era record 119 titles together, including 16 Grand Slams, 39 ATP Masters 1000s and the ATP Finals title four times. The Californian pair have been the highest-ranked doubles team in the world for 438 weeks.
The main draw of the Indian Wells tournament begins with women’s matches on March 9 and ATP action on March 10, and ends on March 20.
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Richard Pullin)