In Sports News this Monday: Czechs go straight through to second stage of Women’s Basketball World Championship, thanks in part to returnee Kulichová; Sparta win fourth Prague soccer derby in row; Litvínov have seven wins in seven in hockey’s Extraliga while reigning champions Zlín have no points so far; and Kvitova wins third title of season and qualifies for WTA Finals.
The Czech women’s basketball team have reached the qualification for quarter finals stage of their sport’s World Championship in the Turkish capital Ankara. The Czechs overcame Brazil 68:55 in their opening game on Saturday before defeating the Japanese 71:57 on Sunday. As well as securing progress, the second of those two matches was notable for the return from an ankle injury of pivot Petra Kulichová, who notched up 19 points and nine rebounds. Kulichová is confident her ankle will hold up in the Czechs’ next game on Tuesday, a clash with the mighty Spain to decide top spot in Group A and a more favourable draw in the next round.
“It will be a completely different game again. They’ve got players like Sancho Lyttle. In every position they have players that we’ll have to prepare for. We’ll really have to show everything against them and prepare our tactics. But I believe we’ll give them a fight for first place.”
Sparta Prague won their fourth derby in a row over city rivals Slavia at the weekend. David Lafata bagged both goals at the latter’s Eden stadium to give the visitors a 2:0 victory, though the Sparta captain also failed to convert a penalty. Lafata’s teammate David Bičík played a blinder in goal for the title-holders. Curiously it was his second time in goal for Sparta in an “S” derby, with the first taking place a decade ago and ending with the same score-line. Saturday’s result leaves Sparta just one-point behind leaders Viktoria Plzeň, who overcame České Budějovice 3:0.
Litvínov top the table in the ice hockey Extraliga, having won all seven matches they’ve played this season. Their latest victory was a 5:1 win on Sunday over reigning champions Zlín, who have been in miserable form and have yet to pick up a single point this term. Litvínov may be three points ahead of the pack but the three clubs behind them, Třinec, Pardubice and Sparta, are keeping the pressure up, with each winning their last three games in a row.
The leading Czech women’s tennis player, Petra Kvitová, remains third in the world rankings after winning the inaugural Wuham Open in China. In Saturday’s final Kvitová scored a 6-3 6-4 win over Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard, who she also beat in the Wimbledon final in July. It was the Czech’s third title of the year and the 14th of her career and also secured her qualification for the season-ending WTA Finals, which take place in Singapore in the middle of October.
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