The recent staging of the GRAWE sidebyside 14. Austrian Open in Graz was a huge boost to the whole Racketlon community as we could finally start talking about some actual matches. The excellent live stream from the tournament saw a big boost in traffic through the FIR’s website and social media channels as people could start discussing all the unique and wonderful elements of our sport. It was fantastic to see that the interest from our growing community is still there and we look forward to many more tournaments on the 2021 World Tour.
Many thanks go to tournament director Michael Steiner, to Marcel Weigl and the whole RFA team and all the volunteers for being able to put on the tournament under such difficult circumstances and also to all the players who managed to get to Graz and play through all the necessary restrictions including daily covid tests and living in a strict quarantine bubble throughout.
It was the official recognition of Racketlon and admission into the Associated Member of Sports Austria earlier this year that allowed the GRAWE sidebyside 14. Austrian Open to receive its elite sports event status which then allowed it to go ahead – even during a strict national lockdown in Austria.
“Once in the bubble, everyone was safer than at home”
“I am so glad we managed to run the tournament in the end with no positive tests as numbers were still rising in Austria. Once in the bubble, everyone was safer than at home,” said RFA Executive President Marcel Weigl.
“Thanks for the funding by the city of Graz, the county of Styria and the Republic of Austria, the title sponsor GRAWE and centre court sponsor Simoner & Scheder and all other sponsors.”
The on-court action saw Christine Seehofer reach a truly amazing milestone of 100 consecutive singles wins, Georg Stoisser winning his first-ever World Tour title, with a doubles win for Emanuel Schoepf and Stoisser and mixed victory for Martina Meissl and Jonas Grafeneder. It was also fantastic to see a true Racketlon legend, Magnus Eliasson, back in action once more.
With the first announcement recently made about the 2021 Tour and with many more exciting developments yet to be announced, we now all look forward to more tournaments and competitive Racketlon action in the new year!
You can also watch a short two-minute highlights package of each of the events from Graz:
- Men’s Singles
- Women’s Singles
- Men’s Doubles
- Mixed Doubles
- Event Summary and Interview with Tournament Director
Duncan Stahl / FIR President
Image Credit / Alex Rieck