Andy Murray’s campaign to help the children of war-ravaged Ukraine was boosted Saturday when Citi Open Chairman Mark Ein pledged to match the Scot’s prize money donation from next week’s ATP 500 tournament in Washington, D.C. A winner of 46 tour-level titles, Murray also took the opportunity to speak about Ukraine with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who visited the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center.
Murray, a father of four and ambassador for Unicef U.K., has been donating 100 per cent of his prize money since the beginning of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells in March, shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine. That amounts to more than US$300,000 in donations and he has pledged to keep doing so throughout the end of the season.
“That really inspired us and we’re announcing today that whatever Andy makes here and donates to UNICEF, we’re going to match it,” Ein said. “We’re also going to create a fan portal called Match Ukraine, where fans can get involved. They can give by the match. They can be part of Andy’s journey. In fact, we’ll extend it through the year. People can be part of Andy’s mission here to make a real difference in something in the world that’s horrible and really deserves all of our support.”
Murray could earn another $342,800 should he win next week’s tournament, which would then be matched by the Mark and Sally Ein Foundation and the Citi Open.
Murray, a 14-time ATP Masters 1000 champion, told reporters Saturday that as the war dragged on, it was important to keep driving awareness and fundraising efforts, and thanked Ein and the Citi Open for the matching donation for his efforts next week.
“It’s brilliant. Thanks a lot to Mark and all the team here for supporting that. It shows that when the players and the tournaments work together, that really good things can happen. Hopefully I can have a good run and lots of the fans can get involved, too, raise a lot of money this week.
“You can’t just forget about this. It’s still going on. People are still getting killed, children are still having to flee their homes, and are in really, really tragic situations. It’s important that the media continues to shine a light on it, keep talking about it.”
Murray is making his fourth appearance at the Citi Open. He reached the final on debut in 2006 (l. Clement) and in his most recent outing in 2018 he reached the quarter-finals after an epic third-set tie-break win over Marius Copil than concluded after 3 a.m.
The World No. 50 opens his 2022 campaign against Swede Mikael Ymer.