In Sports News this Monday: the Czech men’s team fail to reach the final of the Davis Cup, despite having been 2:1 up against Serbia after day two of their semi-finals clash; Lukáš Konečný (32) becomes the first Czech boxer to win a European professional title; and it’s a weekend to forget for current and former Czech soccer captains Tomáš Rosický and Tomáš Ujfaluši.
The Czech men’s tennis team have failed to reach what would have been their second Davis Cup final in a row, after losing 3:2 on matches to Serbia in Belgrade at the weekend. The Czechs had appeared to be in the driver’s seat in the semi-final when they went 2:1 up on the second day through a great performance from Tomáš Berdych and Radek Štěpánek in the doubles.
However, Sunday turned into a nightmare for the visitors. They needed one point to reach the final, but instead took only one set, as Berdych lost to Novak Djokovic before Štěpánek was beaten by Janko Tipsarevic in the deciding rubber.
Many believe the Czechs have blown a rare chance to win the Davis Cup trophy, as in the final they would have faced a French team considered less daunting than their opponents last year, Spain. Jaroslav Navrátil is the Czech Republic’s non-playing captain.
“I’m very disappointed, because tennis is our lives. I realised that this year the chance to win was greater. That’s why we all said that we had to win here. Because with Nadal Spain are unplayable. With Djokovic the Serbs are tough too, but he didn’t play the first day, when the quality of Tipsarevic surprised me a lot. Djokovic proved too much for Tomáš Berdych, even though Tomáš played really decent tennis. On hard courts, only Nadal can beat Djokovic.”
At the age of 32 Lukáš Konečný has seen a life-long dream come true, after becoming the first Czech professional fighter ever to win a European boxing title. Konečný took the light middleweight crown after knocking out English fighter Matthew Hall in the sixth round of their meeting in Birmingham on Saturday night. He believes a straight knock-out was the only way he could have beaten Hall on the latter’s home ground.
“I was aware that I had to beat him before the fight ended. I went into the fight with that thought in mind, and luckily it worked out in the end…It was a huge weight off my shoulders. I was really feeling the pressure. I’m not the youngest any more, and it was kind of the fight of my career. It’s hugely satisfying to me.”
Lukáš Konečný says he is hoping to get a chance to defend his new title in front of his fans in Prague, probably in three months’ time.
The current and former Czech international football captains were in the news for the wrong reasons at the weekend: Tomáš Rosický blasted a penalty over the bar as his Arsenal were held to a 1:1 draw by Sunderland in the English Premier League; and Tomáš Ujfaluši of Atletico Madrid was sent off after a crunching tackle on Lionel Messi left the Barcelona star with ligament damage in a game the Catalans won 2:1.
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