In Sports News this Monday: The end of the NHL lockout means an exodus of stars from the Czech Extraliga – Jaromír Jágr says “it’s been great”, while the Kladno coach says the players’ presence did a lot for the domestic game; Lukáš Bauer is weighing up participation in the Jizerská padesátka after a tough Tour de Ski; and Petra Kvitová’s season has got off to a poor start.
Czech tennis player Klára Zakopalová has reached the final of the WTA event in Shenzhen after she beat Romania’s Monica Niculescu 6-1 6-3 in the semifinal. The fifth-seeded Czech, who has reached the finals of a WTA tournament for the first time in two years, will play top seed Li Na of China in the final on Saturday.
Czech tennis player Petra Kvitová began the new season with a win in the first round at the Brisbane International Tennis Tournament. The player, ranked 8th in the WTA rankings, downed Carla Suarez Navarro in straight sets by a score of 6:3, 6:4. During the match Kvitová broke her opponent’s serve five times but her own service was less than steady, broken three times. The 22-year-old player’s coach David Kotyza described her performance “as solid” but made clear there was room for improvement.
Jan Kodeš recently lined up with the rest of the 1980 Davis Cup winning team alongside the Czech team that won this year’s trophy, amid joyous scenes at Prague’s O2 Arena. Kodeš, who is 66, was a member of the Czechoslovak Davis Cup side for 17 years, and later served as its non-playing captain. But his greatest successes came as a player at the French Open, which he won twice, and Wimbledon, where he lifted the trophy once.
Tennis player Radek Štepánek has moved up six spots in the ATP ladder after leading the Czech squad to triumph in this year’s Davis Cup. The player finishes his season in 31st spot. On Sunday, Stepanek won the final and deciding match against Spain’s Nicolas Almagro to clinch the Czechs’ first Davis Cup win in 32 years (the first time for the Czech Republic as an independent state). One Czech daily called Sunday’s success the tennis “equivalent of Nagano” – the Winter Olympics in 1998 where the Czech hockey team won gold.
In Sports News this Monday: The Czech men’s tennis team scored a famous victory at the weekend, beating Spain in the final of the Davis Cup to take the title for the first time as an independent state. The hero of the hour, veteran Radek Štěpánek, says he is “living the dream” and that the presence at Prague’s O2 Arena of the Czechoslovak team that took the trophy in 1980 made the occasion all the sweeter.
The Czech men’s tennis team have achieved an historic sporting success after beating Spain 3:2 on matches in a dramatic Davis Cup final in front of 13,000 fans at a sold-out O2 Arena in Prague. The Czechs secured victory when veteran Radek Štěpánek beat Nicolas Almagro 6-4 7-6 3-6 6-3 in the final singles rubber of the weekend. The Czech Republic had only won the competition once in the past, while still part of Czechoslovakia in 1980. The Czech women’s team won the Fed Cup in the same venue two weeks ago and it is the first time that the country has held the two prestigious team titles simultaneously.
The Czech Republic are 2:1 up against Spain in the final of the Davis Cup in Spain. After Friday’s singles rubbers the two countries were tied at 1:1 but Radek Štěpánek and Tomáš Berdych on Saturday afternoon gave them what could be a crucial point with a 3-6 7-5 7-5 5-3 6-3 victory over Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez in front of 13,000 fans at the sold-out O2 Arena. The final two singles rubbers will be played on Sunday. The Czech Republic’s women recently triumphed in the Fed Cup and a win for the men’s team in the Davis Cup would make it the first time ever that the country has held the two titles.
The Davis Cup final will be decided in Prague this weekend, pitting the Czech national squad against Spain’s: Radek Štěpánek began the opening match against David Ferrer on Friday afternoon; fellow Czech player Tomáš Berdych will play Nicolás Almagro. Spain, without Rafael Nadal who is injured, are the defending champions as well as the favourites; but the Czechs – playing at home – will be hoping for an upset. When the teams faced off on clay in Barcelona in 2009, the Czechs lost 5:0.
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