Serena Williams is no longer in the Australian Open competition, but she had one last powerful message to share on the court – and she did it with her manicure.
Qiang Wang beat 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams in their Australian Open match, defeating her in three sets 6-4, 6-7 and 7-5. This means that Wang will play Ons Jabeur in the fourth round this weekend. But for Williams, she is now out of the tournament.
However, before exiting the court, Williams had one more meaningful message to share.
During the tournament, Williams wore a multi-coloured French manicure that included an accent nail featuring a design of a koala. This is to represent support for the animals affected by the current bushfires in Australia. Millions of animals from up to a hundred species have been killed by the fires. Reports show that it could take nearly a century for animals to recover from what’s happened.
The artists behind the nail art have now shared an Instagram post detailing the significance of Williams’ nails.
Organica Nails Epping wrote alongside a set of photos: “Guess who we met yesterday. We would like to thank you Serena Williams for giving us a wonderful opportunity to service you. The adorable manicure is an apparent nod to Australia as the country battles a devastating bushfire crisis that has so far wiped out more than 25,000 koalas.”
Williams had previously shared another message about the bushfires in an Instagram post.
She wrote: “I am heartbroken over the devastation of the wildfires in Australia. With the loss of over 500 million animals and many people left without their homes, we need to act now to help in whatever way we can. I have been going to Australia for over 20 years so this devastation is hitting me particularly hard. Here’s how we all can help: donate what you can and support organisations like @world_wildlife @wireswildliferescue @nswrfs @cfavic who are doing everything they can to provide resources to rehabilitate Australia’s wildlife.
Photos via @kararosenlund and @wwf.”
Of course, Williams isn’t the only high profile supporter. Lizzo recently helped out at a food bank during her tour in Australia. Kylie Minogue, Chris Hemsworth, Margot Robbie and Ellen DeGeneres have also been vocal in asking people to help in any way they can.
So, how exactly can we help? Here are five ways to do your bit for the people, places and animals affected by Australia’s bushfires.