A row has broken out at the top of Czech football with the head of the
reigning champions, Slavia Prague, warning that it will refuse to allow
players to be released to play for the national team.
The warning has come from Slavia head Jaroslav Tvrdík, who said he was disgusted by the attacks on national manager, Karel Jarolím, by the deputy chairman of the football association, Roman Berbr.
Jarolím was confirmed in his position on Tuesday in spite of the Czech failure to qualify for next year’s World Cup in Russia. Berbr, according to the news site Aktualne.cz, has continued his attacks on the manager and said that the only reason he has not been sacked is that the contract is difficult to terminate.
Czech top football league leaders, Viktoria Plzeň, turned around their
home match against Bohemians 1905 to win 2:1.
The ninth win in a row equals the start of the season winning run of Sparta Prague in 2011.
Plzeň’s win gives them a 10 point lead over second placed Olomouc, who were due to play later on Sunday.
In football, Sparta Prague drew in a goalless match against Dukla Prague.
It is the fourth time in a row that Sparta have failed to win away this season and further distances the club from the league leaders. Sparta’s Jan Holenda came closest to opening the score when he hit the post.
Sparta are in fourth position in the league with 15 points, nine adrift of leaders Viktoria Plzeň who play on Sunday.
Team Europe has won the first-ever Laver Cup, held in the Czech capital,
although Team World came close to forcing an extra deciding game. In a
tense match Roger Federer defeated Nick Kyrgios in a super tiebreak 11-9.
Team Europe won with an overall 15 points to 9. Thirteen points were needed
under the tournament rules.
Earlier, Team World, trailing after the first two days of the Laver Cup in Prague, rebounded on Sunday with a win in the doubles over Tomáš Berdych and Marin Cilic and a win against World No. 1 Rafael Nadal. Zverev downed Team World's Querrey.
That put the score at 12:9 in favor of Team Europe, with the tournament founder Roger Federer facing Nick Kyrgios.
A win by Team World would have left the teams tied at 12 points apiece and would have forced a final fifth match to determine who would clinch overall victory.
The Laver Cup, in its first year, featured excellent tennis and very close matches, surpassing even the participants' expectations. Despite suffering three losses by razor-thin margins, Czech player Tomáš Berdych said he had been glad to be part of the team and happy that the competition had taken place in Prague in its inaugural year.
Roger Federer defeated Sam Querrey in straight sets while Rafael Nadal
edged Jack Sock in a super tiebreak to give Team Europe an additional four
points in the Laver Cup. Matches on Saturday are worth two points each.
Two more matches will be played on Saturday night: Tomáš Berdych versus Nick Kyrgios, and in the doubles, a dream team of the world's two best players, Nadal and Federer, against Querrey and Sock.
The first day of the first-ever Laver Cup, underway in Prague, saw Team
Europe take a 3-0 lead before Team World got one point back. Team Europe
won all three singles matches on Friday but stumbled in the doubles; even
then the match came down the wire.
World No. 1 Rafael Nadal and Tomáš Berdych, playing together for the first time, fell behind early - losing the first set to Team World's Nick Kyrgios and Jack Sock. They came back in the second to force the super tiebreak.
Both sides played outstanding tennis especially in the second set and super tiebreak: one rally in particular had the crowd on its feet.
Team Europe were beaten in the tiebreak but the match turned on one or two points and could have gone either way.
The innovative points system in the new tournament means there will be higher stakes on Saturday. Wins on Saturday will be worth two points compared to Friday's one. To win the Laver Cup, one team has to tally 13 points over three days.
Team Europe won the first two matches of the Laver Cup which kicked off in
Prague on Friday, securing two out of a total of 13 points. The tournament,
in its first year, takes place over three days. In the opening match, Marin
Cilic edged Frances Tiafoe 7-6, 7-6.
Later, Dominic Thiem defeated John Isner in a super tiebreak: the score was 6:7, 7:6, 1:0.
The third match scheduled for Friday will see Team Europe's Zverev take on Team World's Shapovalov
The first Laver Cup tennis team competition pitting Europe against the rest
of the world opens in Prague on Friday with Marin Cilic playing against
Frances Tiafoe in Prague's 02 Arena.
In the three-day tournament, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Tomáš Berdych, Alexander Zverev and Cilic will represent Europe, while John Isner, Sam Querrey, Jack Sock, Francis Tiafoe, Nick Kirgios and Denis Shapovalov will play for Team World.
On Friday, the singles matches Thiem vs Isner and Zverev vs Shapovalov and the doubles match of Nadal and Berdych against Kirgios and Sock will follow.
On Saturday, Nadal, Federer and Berdych will meet Querrey, Sock and Kyrgios in singles matches. Who will play against whom is to be announced only on Saturday morning.
The team reaching 13 points will win the Laver Cup.
The most successful tennis player in professional tennis and winner of a record 19 grand slams Roger Federer is in Prague, with the days counting down ahead of the first-ever Laver Cup. The tournament will pit Team Europe and Team World against each other, captained by tennis legends Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe. Understandably, neither side wants to lose.