24-09-2001

By Nick Carey

Yes, indeed, it's time now for the sport, and we'll start off with international tennis, and a huge relief for the Czech Republic in the Davis Cup. The Czechs faced Romania in a world group qualifier at the weekend, and needed to win to remain in the world group, which they have not been knocked out of since it was formed in 1981.

After the first two games on Friday, in which Jiri Novak defeated Andrei Pavel 6-3 7-5 6-3, but Bohdan Ulihrach lost to Adrian Voinea 6-2 3-6 7-5 4-6 5-7, the two countries were level at 1:1. On Saturday, Jiri Novak and David Rikl knocked out Victor Hanescu and Gabriel Trifu in straight sets, 7-6 7-6 6-4, giving the Czechs a 2:1 lead, meaning the Romanians had to win both matches on Sunday to win the tie. But they were out of luck, as Bohdan Ulihrach cruised past Gabriel Trifu 7-5 6-4 6-4. The only consolation they had was that Michal Tabara, in his Davis Cup debut, lost to Adrian Voinea 6-1 6-4. A 3:2 victory for the Czechs then, and they stay in the world group of the Davis Cup yet again.

Over in Canada, on the other hand, the news was not so good, as Alena Vaskova was knocked out of the second round of the Quebec Challenge by Iva Majoli of Croatia, 6-3 6-2.

Running now, and back in Prague the Mattoni Grand Prix, a 10 km race, was won on Sunday by this year's favourite, Ethiopian Haile Gebrlassie, in a time of 28:07, a full nine seconds faster than the previous record for the race.

Over to football, and the first leg of the first round of the UEFA Cup has brought mixed results for the Czech teams taking part. This first game was a disaster for Sigma Olomouc, as they were resoundingly defeated away from home by Celta Vigo 4-0. Sigma are going to have beat Celat by a fantastic margin of five goals in the second leg to have any chance of going through to the second round. The news was also bad, but not disastrous, for Slavia Prague as they were defeated 1-0 away by Swiss side Servette. They have their work cut out for them at home in the second leg, but face a less daunting task than Sigma. In the home games, the news was much better for the Czechs, as Slovan Liberec defeated Slovan Bratislava 2-0, and Pribram soared past French first division side Sedan, 4-0, with a hat trick from Marek Kulic. Sedan were so horrified by this defeat that they sacked team coach Alex Dupont the very next day.

And finally, a quick look at the results of the first division football matches played at the weekend:

Teplice 2 - Brno 2
Hradec Kralove 1 - Pribram 0
Jablonec 1 - Blsany 0
Ostrava 1 - Bohemians 1
Slavia 0 - Synot Stare Mesto 1
Drnovice 0 - Sparta Prague 2

Sparta still top the table with eighteen points, but Bohemians Prague are just one point behind on seventeen. And poor old Opava are still at the bottom of the table with just one point after seven games.

24-09-2001