On Wednesday October 18th, the Czech-born tennis legend, Martina Navratilova, celebrates her 50th birthday. Just a few weeks ago, she finally announced her retirement after winning the mixed doubles final with Bob Bryan at the US Open, bringing her Grand Slam titles tally to an incredible 59. But Martina is involved in many other activities, including arts. An exhibition titled Art Grand Slam is now underway in the Czech capital, featuring paintings co-created by the legendary tennis player and a Slovak artist.
Netminder Cech undergoes operation for skull fracture; Czechs draw 1:1 against Ireland in Euro 2008 qualifier; Sparta third in domestic league; Vaidisova comes close but fails to reach final of Kremlin Cup; Czech authorities consider F1 circuit in Prague; Jagr, Havlat top players' point standings in NHL.
In Sports News: the Czech men's tennis team are back in the elite World Group in the Davis Cup after a resounding victory over the Netherlands; Mlada Boleslav are now two points clear in the Czech football league; Sparta fine Repka for giving the finger to Teplice fans, while disgraced former Zizkov boss Hornik is back in the game; and hockey goaltender Dominik Hasek wins on his return with the Detroit Red Wings.
Lucie Hradecka and Renata Voracova have won the women's doubles at the
WTA tournament in Portoroz, Slovenia. The victory came effortlessly as
a member of the opposing team, Emilie Loit of France, had to withdraw
from the final after injuring her wrist in the semifinal match.
Meanwhile, the Czech national team has earned a place in the Davis Cup rankings thanks to a dramatic match played in the Netherlands. Victorious in a key men's doubles match, Czech players Tomas Berdych and Martin Damm defeated the Dutch duo of Peter Wessels and Rogier Wassen in 3:1 sets, 6:7 (4:7), 5:7, 7:6 (7:2), 6:7 (4:7).
In Sports News: Czech football champions Slovan Liberec have maintained their excellent start to the current season; Lukas Hartig makes a dream return to the Czech league - scoring two days after signing for Olomouc; the Czech Fed Cup coach welcomes a draw with "former brothers" Slovakia; and the Czech women's basketball team qualify for the knock-out stages at the World Championships.
In Sports News: Martina Navratilova's glittering career has come to an end with victory in the mixed doubles at the US Open - the tennis legend says she feels both joy and sorrow at retiring at the age of 49; Martin Damm wins the men's doubles at the US Open, taking his first Grand Slam title at 34; javelin great Jan Zelezny receives a standing ovation at his last international meeting; and Sparta Prague's new boss gets off to a winning start in a game of two halves.
Though I would say I am reasonably familiar with Czech culture and history, I must admit that I often have to scratch my head a bit - and consult the internet - whenever we feature a new question in our Radio Prague monthly quiz. The subject of the most recent competition - the remarkable prize-winning tennis, ice hockey and football player Karel Kozeluh - was certainly somebody I should have been familiar with, and I learned about his amazing career with fascination.
Tomas Berdych, Jiri Novak, Martin Damm and Jan Hernych were named on Thursday to play in the Czech Republic's Davis Cup world group clash with the Netherlands from September 22-24. Novak, 31, was a surprise inclusion after missing six months to May this year due to an ankle injury. At the time of his injury he had considered retiring from the sport but he proved at the US Open he was back to his best, reaching the fourth round where he lost to world number two Rafael Nadal on Monday. One player not fit to make the team, though, was Radek Stepanek, who has an injured back.
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