In Sports News this week: no medals so far for the Czechs at Rio but they have pulled off some surprises and comebacks on the tennis courts. In football, both league title holders Viktoria Plzeň and Sparta Prague make a stuttering start to the season. And Czechs made an impression at the Moto Surf Wold Cup in Prague.
In tennis, Czech doubles pairing Lucie Šafářová and Barbora Strýcová have created one of the shocks of the Olympics so far by eliminating doubles favourites Serena and Venus Williams in straight sets in the first round of the competition. They polished off the three times US Olympics doubles winners 6:3, 6:4. Prior to that defeat the Williams sisters had only lost three sets in their run of doubles golds. The Williams sisters started the tie brightly taking a two-love lead in the first set but things then started going awry, especially with their serve. Venus is already out of the singles but sister Serena is still on course to defend her singles gold from London.
Czech tennis player Nicole Vaidišová, who once ranked No.7 in the world, has announced the definitive end of her career due to long-term injuries. She made the announcement on Wednesday on her Instagram account. The 27-year- old player, who reached two Grand Slam semi-finals in 2007 and clinched 6 WTA titles, quit playing already once in 2010 after she tumbled down the world rankings. She returned to professional tennis in 2014 after a four-year pause, but hasn’t had any major success.
The Czech Republic’s hopes of reaching the Davis Cup semifinals were dashed on Sunday by France’s 3-1 victory over the Czech team, weakened by the absence of Tomas Berdych. Jiri Vesely lost to Jo-Wilfriedem Tsongou 6:4, 6:7, 4:6 a 5:7. On Saturday Wimbledon doubles champions Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert fought past Lukas Rosol and Radek Stepanek 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 to give France a 2-1 lead. The final singles was not played.
Lukáš Rosol will play Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the opening match of this weekend’s Davis Cup tie between the Czech Republic and France. The draw was made at an ice hockey arena in the north Moravian town of Třinec, where the quarter-final clash is set to take place. After Rosol faces the favourite Tsonga from 14:00 on Friday the second singles rubber will see Jiří Veselý take on Lucas Pouille. The top Czech player Tomáš Berdych has ruled himself out of the tie.
In tennis, top Czech men’s player Tomáš Berdych has climbed the rankings following his Wimbledon progress to the semi-finals. Berdych has advanced to eighth place in the world from his previous position at ninth. Top woman Petra Kvitová, who was knocked out in the second round at Wimbledon, has dropped out of the top 10 and is now at 13th place. Jiří Veselý has climbed 14 places and now features in the men’s top 50.
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