In Sports News this Monday: Andy Murray pays tribute to Ivan Lendl after Wimbledon victory; Czech duo wins junior girls doubles in London; Kreuziger supports Contador through the Pyrenees stage of Tour de France; Montreal expressed interest in Jágr.
The men’s final at Wimbledon gave Great Britain a reason to rejoice on Sunday with World No. 2 Andy Murray becoming the first Briton to win the home tournament in 77 years. But Czechs also had something to be proud of in the midst of celebrations in London. Murray, who lost the Wimbledon final last year, has been coached by Czech-born tennis legend Ivan Lendl over the past 18 months. And it was to the famously poker-faced Lendl, that Andy Murray dedicated his victory on centre court:
“I’ve got a great team, they’ve stuck with me through a lot of tough moments, and this one is especially for Ivan. He tried to win this when was playing, and I’m glad I was able to help him out when he was coaching. He’s a fantastic person, he’s worked extremely hard with me.”
For the 53-year-old Ostrava native, Wimbledon is the only grand slam he never won, aside from a victory in the junior competition in the 1970’s. As a pro, Lendl lost in the championships final twice - in 1986 and ’87. That did not stop him from having a record-breaking, 18-year-long career as a player, and now triumphing as a coach. Prior to Wimbledon, Murray won the US Open and gold at the Olympics.
Although no Czech players made it into the main professional finals at Wimbledon this year, Czechs had a triumph in the junior competition. The top-seeded Czech teenagers Barbora Krejčíková and Kateřina Siniáková practically sailed through the championships without dropping a single set. The 17-year-olds beat the Belorussian-Ukrainian duo of Anhelina Kalinina and Iryna Shymanovich with the final score 6-3, 6-1 on Sunday. This is the second grand slam title for Krejčíková and Siniaková, coming a month after their victory in the junior competition at the French Open.
The ninth stage of Tour de France in the Pyrenees gave Alberto Contador, the Spanish leader of the Saxo-Tinkoff team, quite a bit of trouble this weekend. If it wasn’t for his Czech teammate Roman Kreuziger, Contador would have most likely ended with an even bigger loss than the 1 minute 51 seconds he forfeited to the SKY team.
Kreuziger seemed to be on top of his game throughout the grueling mountain climbs, helping out his team leader even in situations when he would have been able to pull ahead. In the end, he finished in 15th place on Sunday, but ended up climbing to 5th place in the overall standings so far.
Some commentators even wondered if Kreuziger should replace Contador at the head of the team, but the 27-year-old from Moravská Třebová himself took a humble and practical approach to the situation.
“We are here as a team, and it was all about teamwork. We have two more weeks before we get to Paris, and we need to work on it from one day to the next, so I think it’s all good.”
Kreuziger has all the confidence in his leader, and said Contador’s poor showing on Saturday was something that could happen to anyone.
And in the world of hockey, rumors are abound about where Jaromír Jágr will be heading in the next season. The future hall-of-famer may be going north across the border for the first time in his NHL career. The Montreal Canadiens have expressed an interest in Jágr, though negotiations are still in progress. This year’s winners of the Stanley Cup – the Chicago Blackhawks – are keeping the Czech defender Michal Rozsíval on their roster, having renewed a two-year contract with him. The 27-year-old Rostislav Olesz is instead moving from Chicago to the New Jersey Devils, to join another compatriot Patrik Eliáš.
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