12-07-2001

By Nick Carey

Time for the sport now, and we'll start again with tennis, and the mixed fortunes of the Czechs in the past few days. We'll start with the one piece of good news from Wimbledon, in the mixed doubles tournament, as Leos Friedl and his Slovak partner, Daniela Hantuchova beat Mike Bryan of the US and Leizel Huber of South Africa 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the final to take the title. After the disappointing results in the singles tournaments, this was indeed welcome news for the Czechs.

It was a poor start for the Czechs in the ATP Hall of Fame tournament in Newport in Rhode Island this week. In the first round of the men's singles, Jan Vacek was beaten 6-4, 6-1 by Armenian Sargis Sargsian, Tomas Zib was defeated 7-6 6-1 by Dutchman Peter Wessels, and Ota Fukarek went out 6-3, 6-2 to American Taylor Dent. The only Czech through to the second round was Martin Damm, who defeated Irakli Labadze of Georgia 6-3, 6-2.

In the interestingly named town of Bastad, where the Swedish Open is underway, the Czechs fared better, with Bohdan Ulihrach beating Sweden's Fredrik Jonsson 6-3 6-4, and Michal Tabara defeating Belgian Olivier Rochus 6-7, 6-4, 6-4 in the first round. But bad news for Slava Dosedel, who succumbed to American Michael Russell, 6-3, 6-2.

And the less said the better about the Grand Prix WTA Tournament in Vienna, where only Denisa Chladkova made it to the second round of the ladies' singles, where she was defeated by Patty Schnyder of Switzerland 6-3, 6-4.

Ice hockey now, and after eleven years and 806 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Jaromir Jagr, widely regarded as one of the best players in the NHL, has just signed a contract to play for the Washington Capitals next season. Jagr's earnings of twenty million US dollars over the past two years were apparently too much of a burden for the Penguins, and Jagr indicated at the end of last season that he would be looking for a new team. Details of the contract are not yet known.

And finally, Dominik Hasek, the Czech national team's star goalie and who currently plays for the Detroit Red Wings, has apparently been taken seriously ill with a mystery virus. He recently took a trip to exotic climes with his family, and was taken ill the day after his return to the Czech Republic. Doctors in his home town of Pardubice are having difficulty treating him, as his is a very rare virus. But his manager says that Hasek is holding up well and is in a very positive mood.

12-07-2001