In sports news this Monday: Sparta and Plzeň clinch important wins in football’s Europa League while at home, three teams are tied on top spot in the Gambrinus Liga; in hockey, Jaromír Jágr’s Kladno draws all-time record attendance and Chomutov apologize for racist fans; and in tennis, the Czech pair Hlaváčková, Hradecká lose in the final of WTA Championships in Instabul.
Shortly after the Czech women’s tennis captain Petr Pála announced on Wednesday that Petra Kvitová will lead her teammates in the Fed Cup final next week, the sixth seed announced that she is dropping out of the WTA tournament in Istanbul due to illness. Kvitová was diagnosed with bronchitis, but her coach David Kotyza said she may still appear at Prague’s O2 arena next week for the Fed Cup final against the Serbian team. Pála said that in case Kvitová is unable to compete, Klára Zakopalová may step in and join teammates Lucie Šafářová, Andrea Hlaváčková and Lucie Hradecká. The Fed Cup final is scheduled to begin on Monday 29 October with an exhibition match between Petra Kvitová and the Russian Maria Sharapova.
Czech tennis player Tomáš Berdych has secured a spot in the ATP World Tour Finals in London, becoming the sixth qualifier in an elite field of eight. Coming off of a tournament victory in Stockholm on Sunday, Berdych joins other world-class players Roger Federer, Andy Murray, David Ferrer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Two single spots remain open; it is also far from certain that Nadal, who is recovering from a lingering knee injury, will play. Berdych, ranked No. 6 in the world, reached the prestigious tournament’s semi-final stage last year. This year marks his third consecutive appearance.
In Sports News this Monday: Czechs beat Malta in World Cup qualifier; Sparta breaks losing streak while Jágr misses three chances against Litvínov; Štěpánek wins doubles title with Paes at Shanghai Masters tennis championship; Velká Pardubická steeplechase ends with a disappointment for Josef Váňa; European champion Dryml misses top three spots at the Golden Helmet speedway race.
The Czech tennis player Radek Štěpánek and his Indian partner Leander Paes have taken the doubles trophy at the Shanghai Masters. The pair beat the Indian duo of Mahes Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna 6-7(7) 6-3 10-5 in Sunday’s final to give them their third title of the year. Štěpánek and Paes, who has in the past enjoyed success in the mixed doubles with Czech-born Martina Navrátilová, joined forces at the start of this season.
Tomáš Berdych has been beaten by Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals of tennis’s Shanghai Masters. The Czech men’s number one lost 3–6 4–6 to the Serb, who has defeated Berdych in 10 of their 11 meetings to date. However, reaching the semi-finals in Shanghai for the first time could help the Czech – who is ranked seventh in the world – earn a berth at the year-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London.
Czech tennis player Tomáš Berdych beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 6:3, 7:6 in the quarterfinal of the Shanghai Masters tournament on Friday and reached the event’s semifinals. The fourth-seeded Czech had a great serve in the match and only made few errors to wrap the game in one hour and 34 minutes. Another Czech player, Radek Štepánek, was knocked out of the tournament when he lost to third seed Andy Murray of the UK 4:6, 6:2, 6:3.
Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal, who is recovering from a lingering knee injury, has not ruled out a comeback before the end of the year – either in the ATP World Tour Finals or the final of the Davis Cup to be played against the Czech team in Prague. The Davis Cup final is to take place on November 16-18. Nadal said it would be tough but that a comeback before the end of the year was “not impossible”.
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