07-02-2005

Novak, Stepanek beaten in finals of ATP tournament

Jiri Novak, photo: CTKJiri Novak, photo: CTK Unusually, there were two Czech tennis players in ATP tour finals at the weekend. Unfortunately, neither Jiri Novak nor Radek Stepanek managed to pick up any silverware, as both faltered at the final hurdle. Novak was beaten 6-7 2-6 by Xavier Malisse of Belgium in the final of the Millennium International at Delray Beach, North Carolina. It was his first tournament of the season. Stepanek, meanwhile, was beaten 3-6 7-6 6-7 by Sweden's Robin Soderling at the Milan Indoors. Stepanek - who has never won an ATP title - had this to say after Sunday's dramatic final.

Radek Stepanek, photo: CTKRadek Stepanek, photo: CTK "My opponent served really well and I didn't make it to break-point once in the whole match. He kept me under pressure, and all I could do was keep up with him by not losing my own service games. I managed that in the second set and it went to a tie-break, which went my way. It was similar in the third set but, unfortunately, I lost the most important tie-break."

Czech men's high jump record, women's long jump record broken

Jaroslav Baba, photo: CTKJaroslav Baba, photo: CTK Two Czech athletics records were broken at the weekend. First, 20-year-old high jumper Jaroslav Baba, who took bronze at last year's Olympics, jumped 237 cm at an indoor meeting in Germany's Arnstadt on Saturday. Baba went 1 cm better than the previous Czech record, set by Jan Zvara, 18 years ago.

Then in Bratislava on Sunday, Jaroslav Baba's former girlfriend Denisa Scerbova set a new Czech record in the long jump; her jump of 664 cm broke a record set 28 years previously, and she too made the history books by a margin of just 1 cm! Scerbova, who is just 18 and shares the same trainer as Baba, said she had been inspired by her ex's achievement.

"He called me and he was really happy, and he said whenever things go well for him they also go well for me. And he said he hoped it always worked that way. We really spur each other on!"

Zahrobska close to bronze at Alpine skiing World Championships

Sarka Zahrobska, photo: CTKSarka Zahrobska, photo: CTK The Czech Republic's Sarka Zahrobska achieved the best result of her career at the Alpine skiing World Championships in Italy, coming fifth in the combination. Zahrobska was less than half a second off taking a bronze medal.

Cech sets another record, closing in on yet another

Czech football goalkeeper Petr Cech has set yet another record in the English Premier League, with nine clean sheets in a row after the 0:0 draw between his club Chelsea and Manchester City. The 22-year-old now has 20 clean sheets for the whole season, just one short of the record, and with a full 12 more games to go.

But there was bad news for Czech manager Zdenek Scasny, who was fired by Greek club Panathinaikos after their cup defeat to rivals AEK Athens. Scasny had been at the club for just four months.

And the only female referee in the Czech league, Dagmar Damkova, has been voted the country's best ref in the first half of the season.

07-02-2005