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09 July 2011

Blog - Football, a passion at risk


Nicolas Kiefer (GER)

By Maximiliano Boso in Buenos Aires

Undoubtedly, football is the number one passion of the Argentines. And as America’s Cup is taking place all over the country these days, people are excited. Argentine tennis players are also known as huge football fans. In fact, many football and tennis players are friends.

This is one of the main reasons why during this Davis Cup weekend, America’s Cup is an issue for everybody. This is especially enhanced because Argentina is surprisingly struggling in the competition after two matches in the round-robin and needs to win Monday’s match to qualify to the next round.

“We have to wait a bit more,” Juan Monaco said. “Right now, people are putting so much pressure on their shoulders. We have to enjoy the fact that there are so many world stars playing for Argentina.

Monaco, is a huge soccer fan and once gave his long time friend, Rafa Nadal, an Estudiantes de la Plata’s shirt as a gift.

As sportsman, tennis players understand what the Argentine football (soccer) team in going through now,” said Juan Martin del Potro, a fan of Boca Juniors, one of the two major Argentine teams. “I completely rely on the players. It’s not easy for them. They have a lot of pressure, because there is so much expectation around the tournament. They are among the best football players in the world, and that is why I strongly believe that they will get through.

“It was sad seeing people yelling at the players during the last match. They are idols in every team they play for, great stars, but they also feel the pressure. I am convinced that they are giving their best; it is just the second match. I am sure that they will be the champions after all”.

Even former Davis Cup player and World No. 3 Guillermo Coria, who showed up to watch the Davis Cup action on Friday, had a few words about football. But in his case, regarding the relegation of River Plate, the team he backs: “I still can’t believe it’s true. But I’m sure we’ll be back again soon."


Farewell to Germany, farewell to Kiefer

By Chris Bowers in Stuttgart

Germany may have lost its Davis Cup by BNP Paribas quarterfinal against France, but at least the team will be back for more next March.

The same cannot be said for Nicolas Kiefer, the former German player who announced his retirement at the end of last year. The German Tennis Association DTB threw a farewell ceremony for him on court after France's win in the doubles. 

Kiefer made his Davis Cup debut in 1998, was nominated to 15 ties, and won 12 of the 14 matches he contested.


Austin city limits

By Craig Gabriel in Austin

Austin is not a huge city, but it is a metropolitan area big enough to provide plenty of interest. It is a college town – the University of Texas’ main campus is in Austin. Austin is also the state capital of Texas.

The Capitol Building stands majestically at the top of the broad thoroughfare known as Congress Avenue. It certainly is an impressive building and it is open to visitors for free to have a look.

In the entrance foyer is a huge painting of Davy Crockett.

In the middle of the lobby floor, under the giant dome, is the great seal of the Republic of Texas. And on the walls in the circular room are paintings of past Texas governors. The last photo at the end of the gallery was none other than George W. Bush.

The gardens that surround the building are lovely with manicured lawns and shade trees, and around the grassed areas are various memorials and sculptures.

Austin is a city bulging with bars, restaurants and jazz music. Sixth street has built quite a following here the focus of attention as the happening place to be. One restaurant that is quite fun to visit is Bess Bistro – it’s owned by Oscar winning actress, Sandra Bullock.


Raging Bull in Austin

By Sandra Harwitt in Austin

Actor Robert DeNiro is a very New York kind of guy. He’s from there and he lives there although Hollywood, California is usually central headquarters for folks involved in the entertainment industry.

That said, DeNiro’s chosen to have an impressive presence in Austin, Texas.

The actor, producer, director selected the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin in 2006 as the place to donate a large majority of his papers, film, movie props and costumes. The Ransom Center is a research institute and museum that “advances the study of arts and humanities by acquiring, preserving and making accessible original cultural materials.”

DeNiro sent close to 8,500 items in over 1,000 boxes to the Ransom Center. Among the articles in the collection is the leopard-print boxing robe he wore in the movie, “Raging Bull.”

The Ransom Center’s largest collection is that of famed Hollywood producer David O. Selznick – it spans from 1916 to 1966. The papers of actress Gloria Swanson and the interviews of TV journalist Mike Wallace are also on display.

The Ransom Center also houses one of the 48 surviving copies of the Gutenberg Bible, which was completed in 1455 by Johann Gutenberg.

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    Sandra Harwitt

    Sandra, an American sportswriter for longer than she's willing to admit, has travelled the world to cover tennis for major publications, such as, The Miami Herald and Associated Press. Her biggest problem of late is managing to pack worldwide purchases into suitcases and still meet the airline weight restrictions.





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