Andrea Hlaváčková lifts Singapore doubles title with Babos – and promptly splits from Hungarian; Plíšková slips to fourth after exiting WTA Finals in semis; Sparta overcome Ostrava but latter’s Baroš insists his team could have done better against “average” side; and Plzeň make it 12 league wins in a row for maximum points so far this season.
The Czech Republic’s Andrea Hlaváčková notched up a doubles triumph at the prestigious WTA Finals in Singapore after she and Timea Babos of Hungary came from behind to overcome the Dutch-Swedish pairing of Kiki Bertens and Johanna Larsson 4-6 6-4 10-5 in Sunday’s final.
Hlaváčková, who is 31, had this to say after ending her season on a high note.
“The energy between us wasn’t good in the first set, and I wasn’t sure how to turn things around. I have to give credit to our opponents, who served really well and wouldn’t let me play my usual game. But luckily in the second set we got a grip on the match and decided we weren’t going to give up – and in the end it worked out.”
The trophy won by Hlaváčková and Babos is named after Martina Navrátilová and was presented to the duo by the all-time tennis legend in person in Singapore.
However, it was the last time the pairing celebrated together. They have announced a parting of the ways, citing personal differences.
Hlaváčková is now ranked fifth in the doubles. Her compatriot Karolína Plíšková, who reached the singles semi-finals in Singapore, has fallen to fourth in the singles rankings.
The most keenly watched game in Czech football’s top flight at the weekend featured traditional foes Sparta Prague and Baník Ostrava. The game was given extra flavour by the appearance of former international teammates Tomáš Rosický and Milan Baroš as team captains. And while Baroš got on the scoresheet for Ostrava for the fifth time this season, it was Rosický who emerged triumphant as Sparta won 3:2.
The home side’s winner came after the visitors had been reduced to 10 men with half an hour to go and Baroš said Ostrava ought to have done better in Sunday’s encounter.
“We should have taken a point against this Sparta side, because at the moment they’re an average team. With a few exceptions, they have good individual players. But they don’t play like a team and we knew that and we wanted to capitalise on it. I think we were doing well until the sending-off, and if we’d had 11 players we’d have taken one point at least. But that’s a ‘what if’ and they don’t count.”
Win or not, Sparta are still way off the pace, a full 15 points behind leaders Viktoria Plzeň. The West Bohemian side now have the maximum 36 points from 12 rounds after beating Karviná 3:1 away. “Just” nine points behind Plzeň are second-placed Slavia Prague, who overcame Slovácko 3:0, also on the road.