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January 13, 2011

Patrick Rafter

Samantha Stosur


CRAIG GABRIEL: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining us. Pat Rafter and Sam Stosur have just made an announcement for the Rally For Relief to aid the flood victims in Queensland.
I turn it over it Pat and Sam. If you've got any questions, feel free.
PATRICK RAFTER: I'm actually hoping you're going to ask me a question so you can get the ball going.

Q. Tell us what it's all about.
PATRICK RAFTER: I think as we did last year with Haiti, and the same thing is going to apply here. We're going to try to run the Rally For Relief for two weeks and try to make the donations, obviously as much money as they can without putting a number on it.
On Sunday at 2:00, going to get all the players involved, as many as want to get involved. Get them on center court and have a good, fun day and try to get everyone to dig deep. I think that's pretty well the principle behind it.
But throughout the tournament I think you'll see things. It'll evolve over the two weeks because it's just such a sudden thing to have happen.

Q. Do you have a target in mind that you want to raise?
PATRICK RAFTER: I would like to think we can raise close to $1 million. Yeah, I hope so. It just seems such a small, insignificant amount when you think about the billions and billions of dollars though. We'll keep trying our best and see what happens.

Q. Are you shocked by what you've seen in Queensland?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, it's just incredible. You kind of just get mesmerized watching the TV when you're not doing anything. I think you know the areas and everyone affected and it's just horrible.
But to see pictures of places that you go to, I mean, last week I think the tennis community, everyone from overseas, all the players, they actually really know what it's all about now having seen pictures of Patrick Rafter Arena where we were all playing last week.
To see that underwater, kind of everyone who is not from here realizes how bad it is. It's an enormous disaster.

Q. Just take us through the lineup again. Federer, you, Sam, and Clijsters?
PATRICK RAFTER: No. We're hoping Kim will be able to go, but Nadal, Federer...
PATRICK RAFTER: Lleyton. As I said, I think you'll see players come out. I think as people roll into town and understand what's going on, I think they'll get behind it. I don't think we fully understand what's going on yet.
I think you won't realize until all the water has receded and everyone's going back to their homes. That's when we're going to see all the grief.

Q. Who are the top players you've spoken to about getting behind this?
PATRICK RAFTER: It's big in America. We're getting text messages, Are you okay? You know, Jim Courier, those sort of guys. They're coming down and so they know what to expect down here.

Q. Pat, you have family there?
PATRICK RAFTER: Yeah, we're back on the Sunny Coast now. There are one or two still there, but they're on high ground now. I had a brother-in-law stuck in Toowoomba. He was fine, but they were trying to get ahold of him and his wife and try to find him. Yeah, there for moment you wonder. You know, anything could happen.
But the Sunshine Coast has been pretty well spared, you know. That area has been lucky.

Q. (No microphone.)
PATRICK RAFTER: I don't know. I think we've also got Bundaberg and Rockhampton in there, too, so I don't know. So I think -- I'm sure there are a lot of towns that will come up.

Q. How do you feel about seeing Patrick Rafter Arena being underwater?
PATRICK RAFTER: I think same as everyone. It's just amazing. But it's least of our worries. It's a tennis complex. We need to worry about the people and their houses and their livelihood. People's businesses are going to be ruined.

Q. But in that aspect I guess it brings it home to the tennis players, because a lot them were there last week playing there, are familiar with the area, and suddenly it's all underwater.
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, even where the hotel was, the South Bank area, you've got that beautiful little beach there that now doesn't exist. Again, we were all staying in those hotels and now they're gone.
So I think because it has hit where we all were, that's why, yeah, the players that don't know the area can really relate to it now as well.
Yeah, they're all concerned and asking. They know that I'm from the area. Are you okay? Your family is okay? Everyone wants to do whatever they can.

Q. Are you both worried about the long-term effects on Queensland, on your home state? Economics, social, everything?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Well, of course. I think nobody can really tell how long it's going to take to fix everything that's happened. I mean, there are people that are going to be involved in this for many years to come. It's not just now and when the water goes, but, yeah they've got to rebuild their houses and their businesses.
I think there's going to be a lot, lot more to come out of it than what we're even kind of talking about now.
PATRICK RAFTER: I think we'll see a lot of great things and a lot people pull together and stick together and help everyone out. You know, everyone will help each other. I think it's going to be a really good bonding thing.
It's happening all over Australia, and it will happen in Queensland as well. It will hopefully be a positive thing.

Q. (No microphone.)
PATRICK RAFTER: Should be a part of the whole program, the ATP. Roddick won't be too happy, but... (Laughter.)

Q. (No microphone.)
PATRICK RAFTER: As you said, probably evolve. The ATP might get behind it and the players might spend the next couple tournaments in the next few months helping out. Who knows?
I think they should, and the WTA as well.
CRAIG GABRIEL: There is a note on that, that the ATP and WTA players, the two tours, will be donating $10 for every ace served Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne.

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