Berdych to face Federer in Australian Open after overcoming Fognini; Sáblíková pleased with third place as Olympics draw near; Extraliga leaders Plzeň beat Olomouc in Extraliga; and football league leaders Plzeň are embarrassed by Salzburg in friendly.
The top Czech men’s tennis player Tomáš Berdych has reached the quarter-finals at the Australian Open after overcoming the Italian Fabio Fognini 6-1 6-4 6-4 in a two-hour-plus match on Monday. Berdych told reporters he was in a good place health-wise after his victory at the Margaret Court Arena, which has been a happy hunting ground in the past. Indeed the Czech, who is 32, has reached the last eight in Melbourne for the seventh time and the Australian Open is the Grand Slam tournament where he has enjoyed the most success in his career. Berdych will now meet Roger Federer for a place in the semi-finals. The Czech has lost his last eight encounters with the Swiss.
Speed skater Martina Sáblíková performed well in Germany’s Erfurt at the weekend in a World Cup meeting seen as a warm-up for next month’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. The Czech, who already has three Olympic gold medals in a wonderful career, “only” finished third in the 3000 metres. However, after the health problems that plagued the early part of her season, Sáblíková says she is confident she can compete for the medals in South Korea.
In the domestic ice hockey Extraliga league leaders Plzeň beat Olomouc 4:2 on the road on Sunday. That result ensures they remain a full 11 points ahead of second-placed Hradec Králové, who defeated Litvínov 7:3. Perhaps the most dramatic result of the 42nd round was Zlín’s 7:0 trouncing at Liberec. Among the other games, meanwhile, Sparta Prague overcame Vítkovice 4:3 after penalties
It’s almost a month until Czech football’s top flight returns after the winter break but the country’s top clubs are already very busy preparing for the second half of the season. Among them are the runaway league leaders Viktoria Plzeň, who have just thrashed 5:0 by Red Bull Salzburg in a warm-up game in Spain. Midfielder Tomáš Hořava told the iDnes.cz website that the result showed how much work Plzeň have to do. Either way, the West Bohemians are a full 14 points clear of their nearest challengers with 14 rounds of the league remaining.