Iveta Benešová, Petra Kvitová and Lucie Šafárová together with Květa Peschke will face the US in the Fed Cup semi-finals on April 25-26, Czech team captain Petr Pála said Wednesday. "I have nominated the best and strongest team possible," Pala said in an official statement 10 days before the clash in the southern Czech city of Brno. The team is the same as the one that beat Spain 4-1 in the quarter-finals in February.
In Sports News this Tuesday: Karlovy Vary records an historic ice hockey championship triumph; Slavia draw in the Prague football derby to take another step towards the title; there’s no rush to fill the Czech national football manager’s vacant spot; and a Czech tennis player humbles the mighty Serena Williams.
In Sports News this Monday: Peckhart (19) helps Slavia Prague to all three points for the second game in a row – have the Czech football league leaders found a replacement for wunderkind Necid?; Sparta’s ‘kop’ is ordered closed for three games after a ball boy is injured by a flare; it’s 1:1 between Slavia Prague and Plzeň after the opening games of their ice hockey Extraliga semi-finals playoffs series, but Slavia had to mount a real fight-back to take game two; and former world tennis number seven Nicole Vaidišová halts a rather alarming slide
The Czech Republic’s men’s tennis team have beaten France to reach the second round of the Davis Cup World Group. Radek Štěpánek secured victory for the Czechs in Ostrava on Sunday, beating Gilles Simon 7-6 6-3 7-6 to make it three matches to one in the best-of-five tie. The home side had been level with the highly rated French after Friday’s singles, but pulled ahead when Štěpánek and Tomáš Berdych beat Michael Llodra and Richard Gasquet in Saturday’s doubles. The Czech Republic will now take on Argentina at home in June for a place in the semi-finals.
The Czech Republic are leading France 2:1 in a Davis Cup World Group first round tie. After a win for Tomáš Berdych and defeat for Radek Štěpánek on Friday, the two overcame Richard Gasquet and Michael Llodra 6-3 1-6 6-4 6-2 in the doubles. One more win from the two singles rubbers on Sunday would see the Czech Republic advance to the second round. France has not lost at this stage of the Davis Cup since 2000.
In Sports News this Monday: the Czech Republic take just one medal at a controversial Nordic World Ski Championships in Liberec; the fans aren’t happy with only three goals scored in six Czech football league games at the weekend; the ice hockey Extraliga playoffs get underway; and the Czech tennis team are in Ostrava ahead of a Davis Cup first round tie with France.
In tennis, Czech women’s number one Iveta Benešová is out of the Mexican Open after losing to the tournament’s number two seed, Flavia Pennetta in the semi-finals. Benešová, who won the competition in 2004, lost 6-3 6-3 to the Italian on Friday. Pennetta, the defending champion, will now go on to play tournament favourite Venus Williams, who beat the Czech Republic’s Barbora Záhlavová Strycová on Saturday.
In tennis, two Czechs are through to the semi-finals of the WTA tournament in Acapulco. The country’s number one women’s tennis player, Iveta Benešová, beat France’s Mathilde Johansson in straight sets on Friday and now goes on to meet the tournament’s number two seed, Flavia Penetta, in the semi-finals. The Czech Republic’s Barbora Záhlavová Strycová, meanwhile, is set to meet tournament favourite Venus Williams after beating Maret Ani 4:6, 7:5, 6:1. Fellow Czech Petra Cetkovská is out of the tournament, however, after losing to Italy’s Pennetta at the quarter-final stage.
The Czech tennis player Radek Štěpánek is so far having a fantastic 2009. He had taken two singles titles in his whole 13-year professional career prior to this season. However, since the start of January the in-form 30-year-old has won two more titles, missing out on a third when he was beaten in the final of the Memphis Championship on Sunday.
In Sports News this Monday: great success for Lukáš Bauer, who takes silver in the 15 km classic at the Nordic World Ski Championships; unfortunately, the skiathlon doesn’t go quite so well for the leading Czech cross-country skier; the Czech ladies outshine the men shooters at the European Air Weapons Championships in Prague; it’s close but no third ATP title of the season for Radek Štěpánek in Memphis; and the teams chasing leaders Slavia mess up in the first round after Czech football’s winter break.