Šafářová and Mattek-Sands reunite for Wimbledon: Portugal’s Danny exits Slavia after unimpressive season; Jankulovski takes helm as sporting director at Ostrava; and handball great Jícha gets testimonial.
Czech tennis player Lucie Šafářová is set to perform in the women’s doubles at this year’s Wimbledon with her long-term partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands. The American has been out for a year after requiring surgery following a horrific knee injury at last year’s Wimbledon. She and Šafářová have racked up five Grand Slam titles over the years but have never been winners at the All England Club. This year’s Wimbledon may well be the Czech’s final chance to do so; the 31-year-old has indicated she may hang up her racket at the end of this season.
The Portuguese footballer Danny has reached agreement with Slavia Prague to terminate his contract after just one year at the club. The 34-year-old midfielder – once the most expensive player in the Russian league – was something of a flop at Slavia. He earned a high salary by Czech league standards but only found the net once and did not start a game in the latter half of the season after suffering injury.
Also leaving the Czech league runners-up is Tomáš Necid. The rangy striker, now 28, began his career at Slavia but they have decided not to take up an option to buy him from a Turkish club after a year-long loan spell. Necid has racked up 44 appearances for the Czech national side, scoring 12 goals, but has never really fulfilled his potential.
Former Czech international Marek Jankulovski has taken over as sporting director of Baník Ostrava. Jankulovski says he aims to help the club where his career started out in the 1990s and will focus on youth development. The ex-right back earned 78 caps for the Czech Republic and won the Champions League as a player with AC Milan in 2007, becoming, after Milan Baroš and Vladimír Šmicer with Liverpool in 2005, the third Czech to lift the trophy. Baroš, now 36, is today captain of Baník Ostrava.
The great Czech handball player Filip Jícha made his final career appearance in Plzeň on Saturday night. The 2010 world player of the year, who is 36, was the focus of a testimonial game that also featured stars from his engagements at Kiel and Barcelona.
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