Czech tennis bosses and players have welcomed the Spanish decision to play the Davis Cup finals in Barcelona. Spain announced that the final against the Czech Republic from December 4 to 6 will be staged at the 17,600 capacity Sant Jordi Stadium. Non-playing Czech coach Jaroslav Navrátíl said it was good news that it was an indoor hall. Top players Radek Štepánek and Tomáš Berdych said they knew the venue and looked forward to the match. The Czechs are underdogs for the match with Rafael Nadal due to play for Spain after his comeback from recent injury.
Czech Lucie Šafářová, the world's 44th ranked player, defeated 11th-ranked Ana Ivanovic of Serbia 6-4, 7-6 in one hour and 26 minutes in the first round of the Pan Pacific Open on Sunday, underlining the latter’s mystifying loss of form. Šafářová had lost two of her previous three meetings with Ivanovic, one of them at last year's French Open when the Serb went on to win the title before reaching number one. Commentators say Šafářová's win was arguably the highlight of a low-key opening day at the lucrative Pan Pacific Open, featuring nine of the world's top 10 women.
The Czech men's tennis team has climbed to fourth place in the world rankings following its weekend semi-final Davis Cup Victory over Croatia. That represents a jump of three places from its previous seventh place. The 4-1 victory against Croatia booked them a place in December’s Davis Cup final against Spain. The higher ranking from the International Tennis Federation will help the Czechs avoid top teams when the draw for next year’s Davis Cup is made on Wednesday.
In Sports News this Monday: the Czechs reach the final of the Davis Cup for the first time since 1980 after a sensational victory over Croatia; Radek Štěpánek says he and his team-mates are happy but not satisfied yet, while Tomáš Berdych expresses gratitude for vocal Czech support in Porec; and Lucie Šafářová loses in the final of the Bell Challenge in Quebec.
The Czech Republic’s tennis players will face defending champion Spain in the final of the Davis Cup. On Saturday Spain took an unassailable 3:0 lead over Israel, while the Czech Republic won again over Croatia. In the doubles on Saturday at the seaside town of Porec, Czech players Tomáš Berdych and Radek Štepánek made swift work of Marin Cilic and Lovro Zovko, after having won closely fought singles matches a day earlier. The Czechs have played in just two finals before, winning once, in 1980. This year marks the first time the players have made it to the final representing the Czech Republic (and not Czechoslovakia). The Davis Cup final will be played in Spain in December; sources say the match will most likely be played on clay.
The Czech Republic has booked an appearance in the final of the tennis’s
Davis Cup, after defeating Croatia in their doubles match-up on Saturday.
Štepánek and Tomáš Berdych downed Marin Cilic and Lovro Zovko in
straight sets, 6:1, 6:3, 6:4, a day after winning the first two matches in
the semi-final at the Croatian seaside town of Porec. The Czechs are now
most likely to face Spain for the championship title. The one time the
Czechs won the Davis Cup was 29 years ago, in 1980.
On the first day of the semi-final, the Czechs defeat of Croatia was nothing less than heroic: Radek Štepánek survived a five-hour, 59-minute epic against Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic, in which the latter served a world record 78 aces. In the second match, Tomáš Berdych played a five-setter against Croatian number one Marin Cilic, edging him 6:3 in the final set.
The Czech Republic’s Lukáš Dlouhý has won the doubles final at tennis’s US Open with his Indian partner Leander Paes. They were trailing by a set and a break before clawing back to beat Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles 3-6 6-3 6-2 at Flushing Meadows on Sunday. Dlouhý had been beaten in the final of the US Open in 2007 and 2008. He and Paes are now celebrating their second Grand Slam title of the season, after also triumphing at this year’s the French Open.
In Sports News this Monday: the Czech Republic’s Lukáš Dlouhý and India’s Leander Paes take the doubles title at the US Open, their second Grand Slam of the year; Tomáš Rosický scores on an impressive return for Arsenal – former international team-mate Vladimír Šmicer tells us he hopes Rosický can avoid injury all season; Czechs Barbora Špotáková and Jaroslav Bába take silver medals in the javelin and high jump at the World Athletics Final; and Vítkovice top the table after three rounds of the new Extraliga season.
In Sports News this Monday: Czech hopes of reaching the 2010 World Cup recede further after a 2:2 draw with Slovakia; striker Jan Koller retires for good after a disappointing game in Bratislava; the unseeded Petra Kvitová takes a big “scalp” at the US Open – world number one Dinara Safina; and the Czech ice hockey squad start an “Olympic” season by winning their first Euro Hockey Tour competition in many years.
Czech tennis player Petra Kvitová marked the biggest success of her career on Saturday after she beat top-seed Dinara Safina from Russia 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 in the 3rd round of US Open. The Czech, who is currently ranked 72nd in the world and is the Czech Republic’s number four, fended off three match points the world’s number one Safina had in the third set. The match did not begin until 10:15 pm local time due to a late-running afternoon session. Petra Kvitová told reporters that beating the world’s number one at a Grand Slam event was “brutal”.
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