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World Cup Austria

World Cup Austria

ATP World Tour review for July by Andrew Hill

Defending champions Serbia will have in Sweden their obstacle towards the semifinals guided by their star Novak Djokovic who is having a wonderful year.

Moving into the second half of the season, July will have its own attractive despite no Masters 1000 or Grand Slams being disputed in that month. Variety is what will make of its 31st days appealing for fans, and it will be a great chance for young talents to start making a name of their own. While for the four nations that have made it into the Davies Cup Quarter-finals it will be a motivation to show off their patriotism.

July kicks off at the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championship in Newport, Rhode Island, which is also the last grass surface tournament of the season, and the only one in North America that is disputed in this type of court. After 35 editions the tournament is still looking for a top seed to claim title and put an end to what has become known as â€the casino curse’, moniker allusive to its location at the Newport Casino. American Mardy Fish is the defending champion, but it is John Isner who will try to break the course as the first top seed to clinch title from July 4-10.

Meanwhile from July 7-10 the 2011 World Group Quarter-finals will be held in two continents: America and Europe. In Buenos Aires, Argentina will receive Kazakhstan, and in Texas, U.S.A. will do the same with Spain. While in Stuttgart, Germany plays France, and in Halmstad, Sweden will try to stop the defending champions Serbia.

After a month of June exclusive for grass courts, the clay surface tournaments return on July 11 with the MercedesCup and the SkiStar Swedish Open. This type of surface has been dominated by Argentines and Spaniards in recent times, which will make of them the players to watch after.

Spaniard Alonso Montanes will defend title at the MercedesCup in Sttugart, Germany, which runs from July 11-17 in the clay courts of Tennis Club Weissenhof. There is a special bonus for the winner on top of the prize money: a Mercedes car. Russian Nikolay Davidenko will be the top seed, in what will be his fifth attempt to win in a tournament where he hasn’t been able to make it past the semifinals.

At the same time, from July 11-17 the SkiStar Swedish Open will be disputed in Bastad, Sweden. This clay court event has been voted for the last eight consecutive years (2002-09) by players as the ATP World Tour 250 Tournament of the Year, recognition that pretty much speaks for itself about its dimensions. Defending champion Spaniard Nicolas Almagro will have his biggest menace in home favorite and top seed Robin Soderling.

The only ATP 500 tournament of the month, the bet-at-home Open - German Tennis Championships 2011, will have Hamburg vibrating when the fans pack the clay courts of the Rothenbaum Tennis Center from July 18-24. World No. 82 Andrey Golubev stunned everyone last year by becoming not only the first player from Kazakhstan to win the tournament, but also the first player form the country to win an ATP World Tour title.

In the same time, July 18-24 the Atlanta Tennis Championship will be held at Georgia’s capital city, in what will be the first hard surface tournament of the month. 28 singles and 16 doubles will be disputing $531,000 in prize money. Its last edition gave fans an epic final, with a thrilling third-set-tie break between John Isner and Mardy Fish, which was won by Fish.

Switzerland and its wonderful landscape give a special ingredient to the Crdit Agricole Suisse Open Gstaad. This clay court event will be disputed from July 25-31 with Spaniard Nicolas Almagro as defending champion, who will try to become the first player since Sergi Bruguera in 1994 to win two consecutive titles.

The second event that will be disputed simultaneously will be the Farmers Classic, famous for being the longest running annual professional event in the city of Los Angeles. Its hard court was dominated last year by American Sam Querrey, who won his second title in a row, just like Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan did in doubles, which set a record in the tournament by being the first time in the its 84-year history that the singles and doubles champions defended their title successfully.

And the third tournament to be held from July 25-31 will be the ATP Studena Croatia Open. Its clay court saw Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero crowned as the 2010 champion over unseeded Potio Starace from Italy, who lost in two sets 6-4, 6-4. This tournament has contributed to increase tourism in the city of Umag, becoming a symbol of a high-quality summer spot.

The ATP World Tour will be saying goodbye to July at the Bet-At-Home Cup Kitzbhel in Austria. This will be the second before last clay court event of the season, which will be returning to the city after a one-year absence. Its last winner was Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in a tournament that since has been historically dominated by South American players.

With this review over what the ATP World Tour has scheduled for the month of July we say goodbye, but not without reminding you to stay tuned, for we’ll go over what August has to offer sometime soon.

When it comes to sports, Andrew Hill is more than just a passionate fan. Despite being in the early years of his career as a journalist, which began in 2006, he has proven that he can translate that passion into truthful and objective information of interest for the sports betting industry. As of today he specializes in the coverage of European soccer and NBA basketball for BetIAS’ website.

Article Source: http://www.earticlesonline.com/Article/ATP-World-Tour-review-for-July-/1137705

World Cup Austria

Hello From Austria: Medieval History Up Close At The Riegersburg Fortress And Explorations Of Styria by Susanne Pacher

We were planning to see the other exhibition: Legendary Riegersburg Legendary Women". Two very colourful female characters are associated with the history of this fortress. The first one was Baroness Elisabeth Katharina von Galler (1607 to 1672) who was the lady of the castle from 1648 to 1672. In a time of very traditional male-female role expectations the Galllerin" was a very unconventional character and strayed from the usual norms. Women, even aristocratic women, were not allowed to own property at the time, and Elisabeth, as the sole heiress of the fortress, would have had to relinquish any property ownership to her husband, but she refused to comply. Even in her prenuptial agreement she ensured the right to decide over her property herself.

Baroness Elisabeth von Galler initiated a complete reconstruction of the fortress which included the stunning baroque White Hall as well as the construction of the numerous bastions, gates and the extensive walls surrounding the castle. Several inscriptions above different gates point out that she spent a lot of money on this construction work. Her husband incurred major debt and in 1649 she paid him out with a substantial sum of money and got rid of him. Altogether Baroness von Galler was married three times and involved in several legal battles with her husbands, and local clergy.

The other interesting female character featured in the Legendary Women" exhibition is Katharina Paldauf who was an employee of Baroness von Galler for whom she started working at 20 years of age. From 1673 to 1675 she got embroiled in the Feldbach Witch Trial and was accused of having manipulated weather and participated in witch Sabbaths.The legends also say that she was able to grow roses in winter, a talent that earned her the moniker the flower witch". For her supernatural powers to grow flowers in the off-season she was accused being a witch and was presumably executed in 1675.

Various displays in the exhibition also shed light on the historical background of the 16th and 17th centuries. Servitude and feudalism characterized the power structures during the Middle Ages, and peasants had a very difficult life while aristocrats formed a hereditary elite that was entitled to hold lands and exercise far-reaching powers over the common people. The mostly agrarian economy at the time obligated peasants to deliver a substantial share of their production to the local lords and noblemen who in turn promised them protection during periods of war. This was an era of extensive exploitation and lords had the right to use peasants' land as they pleased. Often a peasant would require the permission of a lord when he intended to marry, and onerous taxes were imposed on the peasant class. These harsh conditions actually led to many peasant rebellions throughout Central Europe in the 16h century.

The noblemen on the other hand lived a lavish lifestyle. An inscription at the entrance of the fortress indicates that an excessive feast during the 1600s resulted in 21 days of binge eating and drinking. The opulently decorated Knights Hall was the location of many such bouts and a wooden bridge connecting it with another hall was used for relieving oneself after all this carousing and is commonly referred to as the vomiting bridge". Even today the figure of a man bent over adorns the bridge, reminding people of its original purpose.

We were awed by the lavish detailing in the former living quarters of the Riegersburg, in particular by the Hall of Knights with its coffered ceiling and the opulently decorated baroque White Hall. When we walked through the premises, the White Hall still featured table decorations and leftovers from a wedding that had been held a few days earlier at the fortress. The castle today is owned by the Liechtenstein family, an aristocratic family that has been living at this castle since 1972. One of the family members had just recently gotten married. The beautiful flower decorations and wedding menus gave us an idea of what some of these historic feasts must have looked like.

We had enjoyed our first-hand history lesson and were ready to keep exploring so we walked down the long basaltic road into the town of Riegersburg that sprawls at the foot of the fortress. A baroque church and several restaurants anchor the picturesque main square of the village and there is a large pond on the outskirts of the village that features a resort with beach volleyball, a water slide, tennis and eateries.

We then continued our big country drive to our next destination: the Castle of Kapfenstein, about 20 minutes from the Riegersburg, is also located on an extinct volcano close to the Hungarian and Slovenian borders. Its recorded history dates back to 1065 and it was one of the fortresses that protected Austria from attacks by the Magyars and Turks. The castle was owned by different noble families until it came into the possession of the Winkler-Hermaden family in 1898.

Today the castle holds a 15-room upscale hotel as well as a restaurant with extensive outdoor patios that provide a stunning view into the surrounding countryside. We picked a beautiful spot on the terrace and started perusing the menu. A wedding had obviously just happened at the castle hotel because the bride and the groom were still carrying presents out to their vehicles. We decided to taste some local delicacies, and I enjoyed my mushroom soup with roasted buckwheat and a cheese platter with a broad assortment of Austrian specialty cheeses.

Our late lunch had stretched into the mid-afternoon and it was now time to continue our journey. But before moving on we took a little 15 minute stroll through a forest and some vineyards to a small chapel on the plateau next to the Castle of Kapfenstein. From here we had a perfect view northwards and through a magnifying viewer we were able to see our previous destination, the volcanic cone of the Riegersburg.

It was time to return so we started our drive back to Weiz. We had made arrangements with our friends Luis and Isabella to join them for a little backyard get-together on my last evening in Austria. Both my friends are avid motor scooter riders and Luis allowed me to hop on one of their two-wheeled machines and accompanied me on a little test drive. I had ridden a motor scooter for the first and so far only time in my life on the island of Ibiza and was exhilarated to have another go at it. After some initial balancing problems and after getting used to adjusting the gas on the handlebar grip we finally got off to a decent start on our little adventure and took an exciting spin on the local country roads.

Twenty minutes later we returned and sat down in their beautiful garden, admiring the large pond that the two of them had created. We all reminisced a bit about the time in 2005 when my brother, my sister-in-law and these two friends had come to Toronto for a visit. This was the first time that I saw my friends again, this time on their home turf. We were even thinking that one of these years we should do a joint skiing vacation in Schladming in Upper Styria, a phenomenal skiing region that is often the location world cup ski races and a place where my friends go skiing on a regular basis.

The sun was starting to set and it was time for me to get back to brother's place and to start packing my suitcase. I said goodbye to my friends and invited them to come for another visit to Toronto. Ewald, Anneliese and I spent another nice few hours at their home as I got ready for my departure, feeling rather sad about the impending end of my trip.

Without a doubt this has been my best visit since I left my home town 21 years ago. Nine days just wasn't long enough to even explore the sights of my immediate area. In addition to the wonderful connections with my family and some good friends, I had learned during the last few days that Styria, the region I was born into, was certainly on par with many other tourism areas that I have visited throughout North America and Europe.

Styria's beautiful landscapes, the extensive opportunities for outdoor recreation, the architecture, history, music, culture, and last but not least, the delicious cuisine will definitely make me come back again.

Susanne Pacher is the publisher of http://www.travelandtransitions.com, a web portal for unconventional travel & cross-cultural connections. Check out our FREE ebooks about travel.

Article Source: http://www.earticlesonline.com/Article/Hello-From-Austria--Medieval-History-Up-Close-At-The-Riegersburg-Fortress-And-Explorations-Of-Styria/240247

World Cup Austria

The Arlberg Kandahar by Roberto Bell

The Arlberg Kandahar men's downhill takes place successively at Saint Anton (Austria), Garmisch Partenkirschen (Germany) and, since 1948, Chamonix (France). A selection of internationally renowned ski resorts hosting one of the greatest events on the international ski racing circuit. This legendary race has become the main sporting event in Chamonix, and is one of the reasons for the valley's celebrated skiing reputation.

For many years the Kandahar took place every two or three years however, since 2004, the Chamonix event on the Verte piste in Les Houches has taken place yearly. As the only men's downhill World Cup approved piste in the region (and only one of two in the whole of France), Chamonix and Les Houches have a unique and precious privilege. Today the Kandahar is among the great downhill courses alongside Wengen and Kitzbuhel.

Created in 1928 the Kandahar was in existence long before the creation of the World Cup Circuit. The first race was held in Saint Anton in 1928(Austria) and it was the first international alpine ski race to combine the downhill with the slalom, a combination which still exists today in both the Winter Olympics and the World Championships. In those pioneering years those who won the Les Houches Kandahar would be legends in their own time, and for decades the Arlberg Kandahar races were the ultimate events in alpine skiing.

The first trophies for the winners of the Kandahar were awarded by Lord Roberts of Kandahar. Lord Roberts had been awarded his title in recognition of his liberation of the battalion surrounded in the town of Kandahar during the Afghanistan war. After his victory Roberts, then a Field Marshall, became one of the most popular men serving in the British army.

The Kandahar lost some of its influence with the introduction of the World Cup skiing events in 1967, when the classic combined event lost ground to the increasingly sought after individual events. But when the combined event became an official Olympic discipline in 1988, and was included in the Olympic Games for the first time at Lillehammer (Norway) in 1994, it won back much of its prestige. Even today the combination of the downhill and the slalom is not only a fascinating event but also very challenging for the skiers - indeed there are few modern skiers suited to such events.

Matt lives and works in Chamonix
He runs skiing holidays through his company Chalet 1802.

Article Source: http://www.earticlesonline.com/Article/The-Arlberg-Kandahar/161462

2010 World Cup DH - Leogang, Austria

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