13 January 2011 | AustralianOpen.com

Tennis superstars Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Kim Clijsters, Sam Stosur, and friends will gather on Sunday afternoon in Melbourne for a special exhibition to raise money for the victims of Australia’s flood disaster.

Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Lleyton Hewitt, Stosur, Clijsters and Pat Rafter headline a glittering list of tennis superstars who will put aside their Australian Open preparations for the Rally for Relief tennis match at Rod Laver Arena on Sunday at 2pm

Many in the international tennis fraternity have been horrified by the disaster.

“Along with many of the other players I was moved by the devastation caused by the floods in Australia,” Federer said today. “We just wanted to do something to help aid the recovery because we know there are thousands of Australians who will continue to suffer as a result of this disaster.”

“This is a terrible tragedy, not only the loss of life but the destruction of people’s homes,” Nadal said. “I am pleased to be able to contribute in some way to help bring it to the attention of the world and raise some money for the victims in the process.”

“As an Australian I cannot help but be touched by such an awful turn of events. It is a disaster on a massive scale,” Hewitt explained. “Australians are incredible at pulling together in times of crisis and this is certainly one of those times. If the tennis community can also help play a role in the recovery then we should, both in Australia and internationally. I just think at a time like this it is a case of getting all hands on deck.”

Queenslanders Pat Rafter and Sam Stosur officially announced the Rally for Relief at the Medibank International Sydney as a key plank in a major fundraising campaign by the entire international tennis community.