Czech tennis players Kvitová, Berdych breeze through first three rounds at Wimbledon but Cetkovaská crushed by Lisicki in 4th; the Czech U21 and U17 football teams suffer defeats at the European and World championships; the national inline hockey team edges the US by a score of 3:2 in the final of the World Championships; hockey goalie Ondřej Pavelec is now a Winnipeg Jet.
Czech tennis players Tomáš Berdych and Petra Kvitová kept their Wimbledon hopes alive making it successfully through the third round of the tournament. Both have made short order of their opponents until now. In the third round, Berdych – a finalist at Wimbledon last year and this year’s sixth seed – easily dispatched American player Alex Bogomolov, Jr. in straight sets. The match had to be interrupted due to rain but Berdych lost no pace in finishing his opponent when it resumed. The final score was 6:2, 6:4, 6:3.
So far in the tournament, neither Berdych nor Kvitová have lost a single set. The Czech media, though, have labelled June 27 ‘super Monday’ regarding Czech players as both Kvitová and Berdych will be in action in the afternoon. Kvitová, seeded 8th, a semi-finalist last year, faces Belgian player Yanina Wickmayer, while Berdych faces US opponent Mardy Fish has never made it past the third round.
Also on Monday, the biggest Czech surprise in the women’s tournament, Petra Cetkovská, ranked 81st on the WTA, was back in action against German player Sabine Lisicki. Cetkovská, who defeated former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic of Serbia a round earlier, lost the first set in the tie-break, and her game completely fell apart in the second: the final score was 7:6, 6:1 in favour of Lisicki.
In football, the Czech Republic’s under-21 men’s national team lost 1:0 against Belarus on Saturday in their bronze medal match at the European Championships in Denmark. The Czechs, who had done well earlier in the tournament with wins against Ukraine and England before losing in the semis to Switzerland, played poorly in the bronze medal match. The team conceded the decisive goal two minutes before time. Besides an opportunity to secure bronze, the Czech team lost a chance to qualify for the 2012 Olympics.
Also in football, the Czech Republic’s under-17 national squad lost 2:1 to Uzbekistan at the world championships in Mexico at the weekend, which saw it knocked out of the tournament. The Czech team went ahead in the 23rd minute on a penalty. But the Uzbeks equalized just before halftime and scored an easy go-ahead goal in the second with 17 minutes left on the clock. The Czechs, who only scored two goals in the tournament, finished last in their group.
The Czech men’s national inline hockey team defeated the United States 3:2 in the finals of the World Championships in Pardubice, east Bohemia, on Saturday. The Czechs went ahead early but the US team, the defending champions from last year, equalized soon after. The hosts added two and the US players were only able to pull within one. The Czech gold finish follows two second and one third place finish in previous years. In their successful run they never lost a game. Goalkeeper Roman Handl and defenseman Tomáš Demel, together with forward Jose Cadiz from the US were named the best players of the tournament.
In ice hockey, Czech goalie Ondřej Pavelec, until recently an Atlanta Thrasher, will now be a Winnipeg Jet, as the team moves from the US to Canada for next season. During the NHL Draft at the weekend the head of the club Mark Chipman announced the team would take the traditional ‘Jets’ name. The original franchise moved in the 1990s, becoming the Phoenix Coyotes. Pavelec is Winnipeg’s starting goalie, backed up by Chris Mason. The Czech earned a place in the spotlight at the World Championship in Bratislava this year, by backstopping the Czech national squad to a bronze medal.
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