Austria to host France in hanger
Originally published on: 23/12/10 11:26
The Austrian Tennis Federation has revealed that Austria will play France on a clay court built in an aircraft hangar for their first round clash in the 2011 Davis Cup.
A hangar at Austria’s main airport, 12 miles east of Vienna, will be transformed into a 6,000-seater tennis stadium for the March 4-6 tie.
Tennis Austria had struggled to find a site for the tie, delaying the venue announcement that was due last week as no suitable arena was available in Vienna for the tie before securing permission to convert the hanger.
Hosting the tie within the 10,000-square-metre hall, which currently is used for the maintenance of Boeing 747 jets, will mean dealing with the sound of take-offs and landings from the adjoining runways.
But Austrian No.1 Jurgen Melzer doesn’t see the noise bothering the players. Most players have experience of playing under the roar of jet engines at the US Open, with planes regularly flying over Flushing Meadows from
“It will be really cool to play there,” said world No.11 Melzer. “A lot of fans can get in so we hope to put on a good show.”
Elsewhere, Pakistan have been forced to play their tie with Hong Kong away from home after the ITF deemed that the tie represented a security risk for the visitors.
Pakistan’s No.1 Aqeel Khan fears that the shift in venue will work against the team.
“At one stage we reached Group I but were relegated due to the continuous shifting of our home matches,” Aqeel said. “We lost to New Zealand this year just because we were unaware of the conditions there. The loss demoted us to Group II.”