In Sports News this Monday: Kvitová sensationally knocked out in round one of Australian Open; Berdych advances in Melbourne; speed skater Sáblíková wins 5000m event in Norway; biathlonist Soukalová tops World Cup podium again; and Čech sets Chelsea clean sheets record.
Czech women’s number one Petra Kvitová has been sensationally knocked out in round one of the first Grand Slam tournament of the season, the Australian Open. The one-time Wimbledon winner, seeded sixth, looked to have an easy opponent in her opening match in Thailand’s Luksika Kumkhum, a 20-year-old ranked 88th in the world. However, Kvitová evidently had trouble breathing in the heat of Melbourne and never really got into Monday’s match; making 40 unforced errors, she was broken by Kumkhum in the eighth game of the third set after she had hit a double-fault and eventually lost 2-6 6-1 4-6.
The Czech men’s number one Tomáš Berdych had a more routine first round, with the seventh seed making relatively light work of Oleksandr Nedovyesov of Ukraine in an encounter that ended 6-3 6-4 6-3. Karolína Plíšková and Lucie Hradecká have also reached round two after overcoming Pauline Parmentier and Donna Vekic, respectively. However, Klára Zakopalová has been eliminated after losing to Samantha Stosur and Lukáš Rosol has been packing his bags following defeat to Tommy Robredo.
Back in the Northern Hemisphere it is of course winter sports time and the Czech newspapers are getting excited about three women whose surname starts with S that will hopefully be successes at next month’s Winter Olympics in Sochi. Speed skater Martina Sáblíková, who took two gold medals in Vancouver four years ago, came first in the 5000m at the European Championships in Norway’s Hamar at the weekend. She also fulfilled her other targets of reaching the podium in the 3000m and allround events.
Biathlonist Gabriela Soukalová, meanwhile, came first in the 15km individual race in Germany’s Ruhpolding, missing only one target along the way. It was the second time the 24-year-old topped the podium in succession and she remains first in the World Cup.
And Eva Samková continues to go great guns in the snowboardcross World Cup. After triumphing in the opening event of the season at Montafon, Samková, who is 20, again came first in Andora at the weekend.
Czech international soccer goalkeeper Petr Čech set a new clean sheets record at English Premier League club Chelsea when they beat Hull City 2:0 at the weekend. Čech has not conceded in 209 appearances for the Londoners, surpassing the previous record set by club legend Peter Bonetti in the 1970s. It took Čech, 31, 272 fewer games to reach that landmark and manager Jose Mourinho told reporters that he too is on course to become an all-time Chelsea great.
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