Starting with tennis - there was an extraordinary set of events in the men’s fourth round of the Australian Open, where the Czech seventh seed Tomas Berdych was booed off the Hisense Arena after an ill-tempered fourth-round victory over Nicolas Almagro.
The booing started after Berdych refused to shake hands with the Spaniard after winning the match 4-6 7-6 7-6 7-6 to set up a quarter-final showdown with Rafa Nadal. He declined because he felt 10th-seeded Almagro had deliberately blasted a return at his head during the fourth set. Duting the post-match interview, Berdych struggled to make himself heard above the booing of the crowd:
„When you have a point and somebody wants to hit you straight to your face, I don’t see this as a nice thing. He was standing in the middle and he hits you in the face. Yeah – that’s their opinion.“
„I tried to win the point. I said sorry to him after the point three or four times and after that you can ask him, not me.“
Berdych backtracked somewhat after the game, stating that both players had made mistakes and that the incident was already in the past.
Berdych goes on to to play Almagro‘s compatriate Rafael Nadal in the last eight knowing that he will do well to reverse a trend of nine successive defeats against the Spaniard.
"He's shown he's a great tennis player,“ said Berdych. He deserves to be in the position that he is, maybe even higher. So for me it's going to be extremely tough."
In the women’s 4th round, Czech number one Petra Kvitova remains in contention for the WTA number one spot after her defeating Ana Ivanovic 6-2 7-6. As the Wimbledon champion acknowledged after the match, the decisive second set was extremely difficult.
„I’m really happy that I won the second set because in the end it was really tough to come back. I was lucky I didn’t play a third set. It was really tough to get back and be really focused on every point but fortunately I did it“
Kvitova now faces the unseeded Sara Irani of Italy for a place in the last four. The other Czech in the 4th round, Iveta Benesova was soundly beaten by the third seed from Belorussia, Victoria Azarenka.
In football, the Disciplnary Commission of European Football’s ruling body UEFA are set to announce on Thursday the punishment to be meted upon the Plsen defender David Bystron after his positive test for banned substances. Bystron tested positive after the Champions League game against BATA Borisov in November, and subject to appeal could face anything between a 2 and 4 year ban from the game.
Karel Gott to get funeral with state honours as singer’s death is mourned at home and abroad
Beijing ends agreement with Prague – but can spat harm Czech capital?
Karel Gott’s Mona Lisa to be put up for auction
Czechs observe day of mourning for pop idol Karel Gott
Thousands pay tribute to deceased national pop icon Karel Gott