In Sports News this week: two Czech women's tennis players will compete in a Grand Slam quarter final for the first time in 22 years; ski jumper Jan Mazoch is still in a serious condition after an horrific fall; Petr Cech makes a return to action after a long lay-off with a head injury, and Slavia come out on top in Prague's ice hockey derby.
Lucie Safarova gave a stunning victory against defending champion
Amelie Mauresmo of France in the fourth round of the Australian Open on
Sunday. The 19 year old Czech who ranks 70th in the world will play
Nicole Vaidisova, seeded 10th, in the quarter-finals. Vaidisova
defeated Russian seventh seed Elena Dementieva to become the
highest-ranked player in that half of the draw. It will be the first
all-Czech women's quarter-final in a grand slam since Denisa Chladkova
played Jana Novotna at Wimbledon in 1997.
In the men's third round matches carried over from Saturday's rain suspensions, Czech 13th seed Tomas Berdych - Safarova's boyfriend - overcame Russian Dmitry Tursunov and will face third seed Nikolay Davydenko on Monday.
In sports news this week: Katerina Neumannova is named Czech sportswoman of the year, while Martina Navratilova is declared a Czech sports legend; Speed skater Martina Sablikova wins the European championships in Italy; and goalkeeper Petr Cech may make an early return to action after being sidelined with a fractured skull.
In Sports News: the Czech couple Berdych and Safarova are knocked out in the first round of tennis's Hopman Cup, while newly engaged Radek Stepanek makes a losing return from injury in Adelaide; ski jumper Jakub Janda is too far behind the leader to defend his Four Hills title, while cross country great Katerina Neumannova notches up her best sprint result in two years; Juventus declare an interest in Zdenek Grygera; and Slavia beat Sparta in the annual New Year's day old boys derby.
Former world number one women's tennis star Martina Hingis is to marry
Czech tennis player Radek Stepanek. The 26-year-old Hingis confirmed
news of her engagement at a media conference at the Gold Coast on
Friday where she is preparing to play the Australian women's hardcourt
championships. Hingis said 28-year-old Stepanek, ranked 19 in the
world, had proposed to her in Prague last month but it was not until
she arrived in Australia that anyone noticed her diamond ring.
Hingis dominated women's tennis in the late 1990s before ankle and foot injuries forced her into early retirement in 2002. She took three years off before making a comeback last year, finishing the season ranked in the world's top 10.
Stepanek will make a comeback of his own at next week's Australian men's hardcourt championships in Adelaide. He reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon this year but has not played since after suffering injury.
In Sports News this week: Libor Sionko scores for Glasgow Rangers while Celtic's Jiri Jarosik (heading for his fourth title in as many countries) needs stitches after a Scottish league clash; Petr Cech enjoys a rare Christmas at home in Plzen, as former Czech keeper Pavel Srnicek makes a return for Newcastle; ice hockey great Dominik Hasek puts in a brilliant performance for Detroit; and the Czech Davis Cup team will definitely be without world no. 19 Radek Stepanek.
The Czech tennis player Radek Stepanek has said he will not be making a return to the national team for a Davis Cup tie against the USA in February. Stepanek refused to play in the Czech team under previous coach Cyril Suk, but had been expected to play under current boss Jaroslav Navratil. On Friday, however, the world number 19 issued a statement saying he had decided not to return.
A special prize was presented to Jiri Novak on Saturday, at the Golden Canary awards for Czech tennis player of the year. The award was in recognition of all that Novak achieved during a long professional career, which recently came to an end when he played his last tournament, the Swiss Indoors in Basle.
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