21-01-2008

Vaidišová and Berdych beaten by reigning champions Down Under

Nicole Vaidišová, photo: CTKNicole Vaidišová, photo: CTK It’s all bad news for the Czech Republic from the Australian Open, with none of the country’s singles players still involved in the first Grand Slam of the year. The last of the Czech women in action was 18-year-old Nicole Vaidišová. Last season she reached the semi-finals in Melbourne, but this time out she didn’t get past the fourth round, where she lost 3-6 4-6 to reigning champion Serena Williams. Vaidišová has a poor record against Williams – indeed, in four encounters the Czech has never taken a set from the experienced American. Speaking after Sunday’s match in Melbourne, she said it was the number of unforced errors she made that did for her this time:

“I messed up balls in play, I messed up my returns – they were the very moments when she played well. I messed up when I had a break ball…She’s a difficult opponent for all players, she plays every ball and when it comes to the most difficult balls she plays better tennis.”

Tomáš Berdych, photo: CTKTomáš Berdych, photo: CTK With Nicole Vaidišová’s exit Czech hopes were resting on Tomáš Berdych. The draw wasn’t kind to him though, with the man from Valašské Meziříčí facing the great Roger Federer in the fourth round. Berdych went down 4-6 6-7 3-6 to the world number one, though things could perhaps have gone a bit better if the 13th seed hadn’t thrown away two set balls at the end of the second set. Were nerves to blame?

“I wouldn’t say that. I was just trying to concentrate on the game and wasn’t counting who had what points and if I could win, or not win…There were a few chances and it could have ended a bit differently. It could have gone to a fourth set and the result would still have been the same. But I don’t think it was all that bad.”

Baroš set for Portsmouth talks, while Juventus could sign young Czech midfielder Kalouda

Milan Baroš, photo: Mustapha Ennaimi, CC 2.0 licenseMilan Baroš, photo: Mustapha Ennaimi, CC 2.0 license Czech football international Milan Baroš could soon be released from his misery at the French club Lyon. The forward’s agent Pavel Paska says English Premier League side Portsmouth have expressed strong interest in Baroš, with talks set to take place later this week. Meanwhile, the rather less well known Luboš Kalouda could be on his way to Juventus, no less. Juve’s negotiators are apparently visiting the offices of FC Brno this week with a view to signing the 20-year-old midfielder.

21-01-2008