In Sports News : Tomáš Berdych has enjoyed a tremendous run in the French Open to equal his best ever Grand Slam performance; Czech handball star Filip Jícha has a European Championship medal with Kiel, and Ústí nad Labem have made it back to Czech football’s top competition after more than half a century.
In the fading light on Sunday evening, Berdych triumphed over the fourth seeded Scot, Andy Murray, in straight sets to make it into the last eight of the French Open men’s singles for the first time. The score was 6:4, 7:5, 6:3. Berdych made surprising short work of the younger Scot, who converted just one break point throughout the match.
When rain interrupted the match mid-way through Murray must have hoped it would be postponed and he would be given a chance to regroup and rethink his losing game. But the match resumed and Berdych took just 50 minutes to finish off the frustrated Scot. Murray later complained that the tournament organizers should have stopped the game because of the poor light.
Berdych admitted afterwards that he was somewhat surprised by the easy win over his higher ranked opponent.
“For me things worked well and that was important. Although Murray is the fourth ranked player in the world, during the three sets there was only just around five minutes when I was under the greater pressure. I don’t think he will be very happy. I, on the other hand, am glad that I have been able to carry on in the tournament.”
Berdych’s previous best in a Grand Slam tournament was the quarterfinals at Wimbledon in 2007. The 15-seeded Czech now faces Russian Mikhail Youzhny who is seeded 11th.
In handball, Filip Jícha has become the first Czech to win a European Champions league medal. Jícha helped his German team Kiel beat Barcelona in the final 36:34. Jícha found the net 11 times during the match and help the team come back after trailing at half time. The Czech was the highest scorer in the championship competition with 119 goals. Kiel had appeared in all three previous finals but lost the last two.
In football, second league club Ústí nad Labem have booked their place in Czech football’s top flight next season. The north Bohemian club won 3:1 against Sokolov in the penultimate game of the season to pull away from promotion challenger Zlín. Second division champion Hradec Králové had already booked their place in the Gambrinus League. Ústí last played in the top division 51 years ago.
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