/Melbourne storms bring no fire relief, as stars shine for charity

Melbourne storms bring no fire relief, as stars shine for charity

Gelantipy, about 50km north of Buchan in East Gippsland, was an exception with about 20mm as of Thursday morning.

In Melbourne’s west, more than 77mm fell at St Albans and Avalon saw 49mm with wind gusts of 133km/h.

The State Emergency Service received more than 580 calls for help with building damage, trees down and flash flooding, with the district of Brimbank, in the northwest, the worst hit.

Australian Open qualifying started on time on Thursday morning after the overnight rain cleared smoke from the bushfires that caused play to be suspended earlier in the week.

Rain also stayed away on Thursday morning, and organisers were hopeful round one of qualifying for the Grand Slam could be completed by the end of the day.

Tournament officials remain optimistic they can complete the three rounds of qualifying – with 16 players from both the men’s and women’s entries advancing to the main draw – before the Open starts on Monday.

They can play during the weekend if required.

Kyrgios, who helped bring the event about by calling on Tennis Australia to organise something to respond to the bushfires crisis, thanked the players who took part in the charity tournament.

Melbourne went from a scorcher to a soaker on Wednesday afternoon. Joe Armao

“I’ve got goosebumps … everyone came together and it’s just an amazing feeling,” Kyrgios said. “It’s been an emotional couple of weeks.

“When I was back home in Canberra, I couldn’t even go outside (due to bushfire smoke) … and I’m just so happy that we had Roger, Rafa, Novak – some of the greats – to get behind this.

“The awareness has grown and I think we’re doing everything we possibly can to overcome this.”

Federer, who combined with Nadal to donate $250,000 to the charity event, said it was about raising awareness of the crisis facing Australia as well and money for victims.

“What I wanted to do was raise awareness, raise money and tell people to still come and travel to Australia because people probably think around the world that you can’t right now,” Federer said.

“That was the idea.

“And to have some fun, have a hit with Nick … we get along very well.

“We’ve had some epic matches over the years and this was fun … it wasn’t about winning and losing.”

AAP