WASHINGTON, July 31, 2022 (by Michael Dickens)
Citi Open Chairman Mark D. Ein announced Saturday that his foundation and the tournament will match a pledge made earlier this year by three-time Grand Slam winner – and UNICEF Ambassador – Andy Murray to donate all of his 2022 tournament winnings to UNICEF’s effort to help needy children in Ukraine.
The Citi Open not only will match Murray’s prize money during the upcoming tournament in the nation’s capital city (Aug. 1-7), but it also launched a new website, MatchUkraine.org, to encourage fans on site at the Citi Open tournament and all over the world to support efforts in the embattled country by donating with every round he plays.
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“Andy Murray’s efforts to help children in Ukraine inspired all of us and we want to use our platform in Washington to help him do even more,” said Ein. “Andy demonstrated why he is one of the most respected leaders in sports when he selflessly stepped up just after the invasion of Ukraine to help millions of children in need – a need that grows with each passing day. We have all seen the tragic toll on innocent children and their families caught in the crossfire. The Citi Open is proud to join Andy in raising funds to help this important cause, and we invite our fans and tennis fans around the world to do the same.”
In a statement, Michael J. Nyenhuis, CEO and President of UNICEF USA, said: “Andy Murray is a champion on and off the court. The generosity shown by Andy, the Citi Open and tennis fans around the world could not come at a more critical time for children in Ukraine, who are continuing to face unprecedented challenges.”
UNICEF’s emergency response teams and its partners are continuing to deliver safe water to families in communities where water systems are barely functioning. They are providing health care, nutrition and education support where services are severely lacking or have shut down entirely. Plus, they are focusing on protecting children from violence, exploitation and abuse in the face of increased threats of gender-based violence and the risk of harm from mines and other explosive remnants of war.
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Through the end of July, Murray’s prize money donation has exceeded more than $300,000 – he began donating his prize money during Indian Wells in March – and he could make another $342,800 if he wins the singles title at the ATP 500 Citi Open in Washington, which would then be matched by the Mark and Sally Ein Foundation and the Citi Open.
“Thanks a lot to Mark and all the team here for their support,” Murray said during a Media Day press conference Saturday. “I think it really helps. It shows that I think as well when the players and the tournaments work together, that really good things can happen and come out of that. Yeah, once again, really appreciate the support from the tournament here on that.
“Hopefully, I can have a good run and lots of the fans can get involved, too, raise a lot of money this week.”
The campaign will be promoted by the Citi Open, both on social media and on-site at the tournament at the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center in northwest Washington. Fans who donate will also get special Match Ukraine bracelets, special experiences and other items as a thank you for their support.
The 50th-ranked Murray’s first match at the Citi Open against Sweden’s Mikael Ymer is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 1.