In Sports News this Monday: first place in Estonia’s Otepaa represents a double hat-trick for cross country skier Lukáš Bauer; Šárka Záhrobská admits to lacking “zest” after another off-the-pace finish in the slalom World Cup; Czech ice hockey captain Patrik Eliáš is knocked unconscious during an NHL game; and Czech men’s number one Radek Štěpánek exits the Australian Open in the first round.
The venue for the opening World Group Davis Cup tie between the Czech Republic and Belgium has been announced. The venue for the confrontation between March 5-7 will be the small eastern Belgian town of Bree. The Czechs are favourites for the encounter following their run to the final of the Davis Cup last year when they lost against Spain. The Czechs hope to get to the final again this year but with a different result.
In tennis, Czech women’s doubles specialist Květa Peschkeová has won the Hobart, Australia, title with Taiwanese partner Chuang Chia-Jung. They beat the Romanian-Taiwanese pair, Monica Niculescu and Chan Yung-Jan 3:6, 6:3, 10:7. It is Peschkeová’s 14th doubles title and follows a half year away from the game following injury. The Hobart tournament is seen as a warm up for the Australian Open.
In Sports News this Monday: Martina Sáblíková takes the all-round title at the European Speedskating Championships; Lukáš Bauer wins the Tour de Ski for the second time, after a strong performance in the final stage; Nikola Sudová comes third in the women’s moguls in the Freestyle Skiing World Cup in Calgary; and Radek Štěpánek is beaten in the final of tennis’s Brisbane International.
Czech tennis player Radek Štepánek has lost to the American Andy Roddick in the final of the Brisbane International Tennis Tournament. Štepánek fought a close match, clawing back from 4:0 in the second set, but a double-fault in the tie-break sealed his defeat. The final score was 7:6, 7:6. Štepánek had hoped to defend his title in the tournament from last year. Brisbane is considered final preparation for the first grand slam event of the season, the Australian Open.
Czech tennis player Radek Štepánek will the US top seed Andy Roddick in the Brisbane International men’s singles final on Sunday, after downing French opponent Gael Monfils by a score of 6:2, 6:1. Štepánek will be defending his title win from last year. For a while it appeared the tournament might see an all-Czech final, before Roddick defeated Štepánek’s colleague Tomas Berdych in three sets. The score in that match was 6:1, 3:6, 4:6. The Brisbane International is the last run-up to the season’s first Grand Slam tournament, the Australian Open.
Czech tennis number one Radek Štěpánek has reached the semi-final of the Brisbane International, which he won last year. Mr. Štěpánek is two wins away from earning the title for a second time. The 31-year old, who represented the Czech Republic at the Davis Cup, beat the American Wayne Odesnik 7:6 and 6:1. After reaching the quarter-final on Wednesday, Czech tennis player Lucie Safarova dropped out of the competition after a mixed match.
The Czech men’s tennis number one Radek Štěpánek has advanced to the quarter-finals of the Brisbane International, a tournament he won last year. However, the second seed had to survive a tight shave before beating Ukranian qualifier Oleksandr Dolgopolov Jr 5-7 7-6 6-2. Tomáš Berdych, meanwhile, beat Marcos Baghdatis of Australia 6-0 6-1. Among the Czech women, Lucie Safarova also reached the quarter- finals, after a 6-3 6-1 win over Canada's Aleksandra Wozniak 6-3 6-1.
2009 has been a rather mixed year for Czech sport. Perhaps the biggest single story was the national soccer team’s failure to reach the World Cup, despite having a relatively easy group on paper. The Czech men’s tennis team, meanwhile, went on a remarkable run in the Davis Cup, only to lose to Spain in the final. And in athletics, Barbora Špotáková took the Czech Republic’s only medal, silver in the women’s javelin, at the Athletics World Championships in Berlin.
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