In Sports News this week: All Czech singles players knocked out of French Open; Football: Czechs suffer biggest defeat ever; Pavel Nedvěd stars in match for his hometown club; Ondřej Synek wins World Cup gold in Belgrade.
On Saturday, Karolína Plíšková lost to 1-6 2-6 to Maria Sharapova of Russia, while Petra Kvitová was narrowly beaten 7-6 7-6 by Anett Kontaveit of Estonia, bringing her run of 13 consecutive wins on clay to an end.
The last Czech hope in the singles, Barbora Strýcová, lost her fourth-round match on Sunday to Yiulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan in straight sets. This is what she had to say right after the match:
“Right after the match, I was disappointed and I was telling myself that I could have done more. But when I look at it from a broader perspective, I am really glad that I have made it all the way to the fourth round and that I can still compete with top players.”
Despite the defeat, Barbora Strýcová remains at the French Open competing in the doubles with her partner Andrea Sestini Hlaváčková.
The Czech Republic failed to reach the World Cup in Russia, which begins the week after next. Their campaign to try to qualify for the 2020 European Championships will get underway after the summer.
Czech international manager Karel Jarolím said he had believed that the Czechs were improving but the match eventually forced him to think otherwise.
“I feel terrible, of course. It is like a cold shower. We conceded four goals and didn’t manage to break through even once, so I guess we deserved it.”
Retired football legend Pavel Nedvěd played a one-off game for the Czech lower league club Skalná on Saturday. Nedvěd, who is 45, took part in the match in order to fulfil his dream of lining up alongside his son, also called Pavel, the Czech News Agency said.
The Nedvěds were on the losing side in the encounter, which took place in the seventh tier of Czech soccer, as Skalná were overcome 4:1 by Královské Poříčí.
Pavel Nedvěd spent five years at Italy’s Lazio and eight at Juventus and in 2003 became only the second Czech to win the Ballon d’Or as European footballer of the year. He earned 91 international caps.
In water sports, Czech rower Ondřej Synek has entered the new World Cup season with a victory after coming first in the men's single skull race in Belgrade on Sunday. The five-time world champion and three Olympic medals holder beat Roman Röösli of Switzerland by less than a second.
Czechs pair Jakub Podrazil and Lukáš Helečic have scored their best result ever, finishing second behind Croatia’s Valentin and Martin Sinkovič.