Czech tennis player Karolína Plišková lost to German Angelique Kerber in the final of the Birmingham Open on Sunday. Plišková lost 7:6, 3:6,6:7 in just over 2 hours and 15 minutes. The Czech survived four set points against her in the first set before taking it to a tie-break and winning the set. Plišková took an early break in the second set but then lost her own serve twice allowing Kerber to tie the match at one set all. Kerber had a chance to serve for the match at 5:4 in the third but Plišková broke back and the match went to a second tie-break. The loss robs the Czech of a chance to enter the women’s top 10 for the first time.
Police found 12 illegal immigrants from Syria, Afghanistan, and Gambia, during a search of a night trains when they stopped at Břeclav, Moravia, on Saturday night. Another Afghan was discovered on a bus from Austria. Among the immigrants was a pregnant woman and two children. Police are trying to find out if they applied for asylum before reaching the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic is usually a transit for illegal immigrants. Last week the minister of interior, Milan Chovanec, said that checks on trains and buses would be stepped up during the current wave of immigration into Europe.
Slovak Minister of the Interior Robert Kaliňák said Sunday that around 60 Czechs were detained after violence broke out in Bratislava on Saturday night following a demonstration against immigrants and Islamism. Paving stones were thrown and cars damaged during a series of incidents across the Slovak capital. Slovak and Czech football hooligans are believed to have played a major role in the violence. The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had information that 21 Czechs were still detained and another 21 released after being taken into custody by police. Police detained around 160 people after the incidents.
A commemoration was held Sunday for the victims of Ležáky, a village which was picked out for retribution after the assassination of leading Nazi Reinhard Heydrich in Prague in May 1942. All 41 adults from the village, men and women, were executed and 11 out of 13 children sent to the gas chambers. Two sisters survived because they were placed with German families. The village, like Lidice, was razed to the ground. Speaker of the lower house, Jan Hamáček said at the commemoration that current Jihadi movements were similar to Nazism in that they used pseudo-religious arguments to justify war and world domination.
A commemoration is being held on Sunday in Prague’s Old Town Square to honour the 27 martyrs who were executed there on June 21, 1621. The three nobles, seven knights, and 17 burghers were executed by the Habsburg authorities following the defeat of the reformist Bohemians in the Battle of White Mountain outside Prague in 1620. Twenty-seven crosses in Old Town Square recall the executions. Prague mayor Adriana Krnáčová is to attend the commemoration.
Václav Klaus junior, the son of the former Czech president of the same name, says he is discussing the chances of Italy’s flagship cycling race, the Giro D’Italia, starting in Prague. Klaus, a cycling fanatic, says he has started discussions about the possibility of a Prague start in 2017 or 2018 with the director of the race, Mauro Vegni. He said he will now consult with cities and towns to see whether the necessary funds could be raised. The Giro often now starts abroad, in 2014, for example, it began in Ireland.
In football, the Czech Under 21 side trounced Serbia 4:0 to keep alive hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals of the European Championships being hosted in the Czech Republic. Striker Jan Kliment scored a hat-trick with two goals in the first half and a third in the 56th minute. Martin Frýdek added the final goal three minutes later. The Czech team made Serbia, who drew with Germany in the first game, look pedestrian with the Serbs never really looking like getting back in the match. The Czechs now face Germany on Tuesday night. Germany leads the group after beating Denmark 3:0.
Karolína Plíšková has the chance to win her first singles title on grass at the Birmingham Open. She won through to the finals beating French opponent Kristina Mladenovic 6:2, 7:6. Mladenovic had three set balls on the second set tie break but Plíšková survived and won the tiebreak with her first matchball 8:6. She will face the winner of the all German tie between Angelique Kerber and Sabine Lisicki in the other semi-final.
Prague’s municipal court is expected at the start of July to start proceedings in the trail of a gang which organised the theft of items from a Marilyn Monroe exhibition being staged in Prague, the Czech News Agency reported Saturday. Rare photographs documents, including for example a letter inviting her to the birthday party of president John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and other display items from the exhibition about the screen goddess were taken in May 2013 when items were being shipped from Florence, Italy, to Prague. Organisers pondered whether to go ahead with the Prague event following the theft but it was eventually held with more than 50,000 visitors attending. Some of the stolen items were recovered by police as they closed in on the alleged thieves a few months later.
Czech canoeist Stanilsav Ježek won the men’s world cup slalom event being staged in Prague on Saturday. The 38-year-old was the fastest qualifier already in the semi-finals. In the final, he completed the course with no faults 57 seconds ahead of Slovenian European Champion Benjamin Savsek with Briton David Florence in third place. Ježek had to a large extent home advantage since he trains at the Troja slalom course.
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