20-09-2001

By Nick Carey

Yes, indeed, it's time for the sports roundup now, and we'll start off with the mixed fortunes of Czech tennis players in the latest international tournaments.

It was not a good start for the Czech Republic in the Shanghai Open ATP tennis tournament in China, as Petr Luxa went out in straight sets in the first round to George Bastl of Switzerland, 6-1, 7-5.

Over on the other side of the globe, the Quebec Challenge tennis tournament is underway in Canada. In the first round of the women's singles tournament, Catalina Castano of Colombia knocked out Klara Koukalova in straight sets 6-4, 6-4. The news was better for Alena Vaskova, who came back from one set down to beat American Marissa Irvin, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4.

Over to the world of football now, and Sparta Prague faced Bayern Munich on Tuesday as the German side got off to a poor start in the defence of its Champions League title. Lacking two of their top players, Bayen failed to get past Sparta's back four in what has been described in Germany as a dull game. Both sides had a few chances, but the game ended with a score of 0-0. Bayern Munich are frankly less than pleased with the result, but Sparta could scarcely conceal their delight. After repeated failures to do well in the Champions League, including some humiliating defeats along the way, Sparta Prague was quite happy to pick up the point for the draw. The players are now hopeful that after drawing away with last year's champions, they are in good stead for their other fixtures.

The other news on the international front is not too pleasing for the Czechs, as FIFA released its latest world rankings table on Wednesday. The Czech Republic, which topped the table ahead of the European Championships last year, saw their ranking drop to seventh place in the last table, and the latest results show that they have dropped a further seven places to fourteenth. This follows some disastrous results in international football recently, and no doubt reflects the mood of the Czech national team's fans after a 3-1 defeat by Iceland a few weeks ago.

On the home front, in the only first division match played on Monday, Bohemians Prague beat Slavia Prague 1-0. This puts the Bohemians back in first place in the league table, with sixteen points after seven games played. Sparta Prague are in second place with fifteen points, so there's nothing in it at this point. All to play for, and lots of time to do it in.

20-09-2001