04-02-2008

Czechs triumph though Fed Cup tie with Slovakia goes down to wire

Photo: CTKPhoto: CTK There was drama in Brno on Sunday, when a Fed Cup tie between the Czech Republic and Slovakia came down to the last, doubles rubber. Czech duo Nicole Vaidišová and Květa Peschke breezed past Slovaks Janette Husárová and Dominika Cibulková in the first set, winning 6:1. But when the latter pair took the second 6:2, many were biting their fingernails in the Brno arena; those nerves only increased when the Czechs were forced to return four break-balls at 2:3 in set three. Vaidišová and Peschke kept their nerve, however, winning 6:4 to give the Czech Republic a 3:2 overall win in the tie as tension gave way to euphoria.

Here is the Czech women’s number one, Nicole Vaidišová:

Nicole Vaidišová, photo: CTKNicole Vaidišová, photo: CTK “I’m really glad it turned out the way it did. I have to thank Květa, she was the main driving force on our side of the court – I just supported her. Otherwise, the public really helped us. They were really incredible – especially at the end, when the atmosphere was incredible.”

That World Group II win in Brno sets the Czech Republic up for a play-off for a place in the elite World Group.

By the way, it will be the turn of the Czech men next weekend: they are taking on Belgium in the Davis Cup’s World Group first round in another Moravian city, Ostrava.

Sáblíková wins Speed Skating World Cup for second year in row

Is there no stopping Martina Sáblíková? The Czech Sportsperson of the Year has successfully defended the Speed Skating World Cup title she took for the first time last year: a win in the 3000 m at Italy’s Baselga di Pine on Sunday gave the 20-year-old overall victory in the season-long competition.

Dream Bundesliga debut for three-goal Fenin

Martin Fenin (left), photo: CTKMartin Fenin (left), photo: CTK Another Czech 20-year-old who will have a spring in his step after the weekend is footballer Martin Fenin. The striker made a brilliant debut for Eintracht Frankfurt, scoring the first hat-trick of his career in a 3:0 away win over Hertha Berlin on Saturday.

Czechs facing Greece and Poland in friendlies, minus manager Bruckner

Fenin is currently in Cyprus with the Czech national team for two friendly games against Greece and Poland on Tuesday and Wednesday. However, more experienced squad members Rosický, Jankulovski and Galásek have had to cry off through injury. And for the first time in six years Karel Bruckner will not be on the sideline for those internationals: the 68-year-old manager is ill and has been ordered to stay home. His assistant, Jablonec boss Petr Rada, is filling in.

04-02-2008