Muster wants tennis facility built

Updated: July 4, 2005, 6:57 PM ET
Associated Press

VIENNA, Austria -- Former Austrian tennis star Thomas Muster threatened to step down as Davis Cup captain on Monday unless his bid to build a tennis training facility is supported.

Activists have launched a petition drive to stop the boarding school and tennis center being built near Graz, about 125 miles southwest of Vienna.

"This initiative shows that people in this country are not supporting our sport,'' Muster told Austrian state television. "Therefore, Austrian tennis is in question and my position as Davis Cup captain in particular."

Muster, the provincial government, the Austrian Tennis Federation and investors plan to build the facility in the Graz suburb of Strassgang.

The petition drive is being led by local activist Gertrude Werthan, who successfully fought soccer club Sturm Graz's bid five years ago to build a training facility in the same area.

"We want to keep our meadows, trees and walking paths," she said. "This is our local recreation area."

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press