Team Europe win first ever Laver Cup in Prague, but Czechs’ own Berdych loses all his games; Plzeň make it eight wins in row while Slavia’s unbeaten record proves little solace as champions fall further behind.
The eyes of the tennis world were on Prague at the weekend, when the first ever edition of the Laver Cup proved a major success. The competition pitted Team Europe against Team World and came to a climax on Sunday with a tie-break thriller won by the former.
Victory was sealed by world number two Roger Federer after the Swiss superstar beat Nick Kyrgios of Australia 4-6 7-6 11-9. That gave the Europeans an unassailable 15-9 lead and sparked jubilant celebrations.
Among those rejoicing – and taking a team selfie – was the local representative on Team Europe, Tomáš Berdych. However, though he played quite well, the Czech failed to win any of his three matches at the weekend.
“It definitely spoils the result for me. As for my performances on the court and how the games looked, I think that, fortunately, they show another side of things. The game is played to win, not to be beautiful. But at the same time it’s good if you can play the tennis that you want to play. And for me that’s a good indicator regarding the remainder of the season.”
While local tennis fans enjoyed a rare treat in seeing in the flesh so many top class players – and captains Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe – they won’t get the chance next year as the 2018 Laver Cup is set to take place in Chicago.
Viktoria Plzeň just keep on going. The West Bohemians beat Mladá Boleslav 2:0 at the weekend for their eighth victory in eight outings to extend their own record for best start of the season in the Czech soccer league. The only downside of their latest win was an injury to full-back David Limberský, who requires an operation after breaking his jaw.
Slavia Prague, meanwhile, have extended their record unbeaten run to 34 games. However, the champions don’t have so much to celebrate as their 1:1 at Zlín means they have now drawn half of their games this season and are a full eight points behind leaders Plzeň. Slavia also have another problem, with midfielder Miroslav Stoch facing disciplinary action after chanting “death to Sparta” to fans after a previous game.
For their part, Sparta are one point behind Slavia after a 3:0 win over Teplice. Many fans stayed away the “kop” at their Letná stadium for that game in protest against the club’s management.
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