In Sports News: Czech tennis players Kvitová, Berdych triumph in Hopman Cup; Sáblíková clinches fourth European Championship title in speed skating; Bauer comes in sixth at Tour de Ski; Stanislav Řezáč wins Jizerská padesátka cross-country skiing race; Jágr loses puck on key play in 6:4 Flyer loss against Ottawa.
Czech tennis players Petra Kvitová and Tomáš Berdych, second and seventh in the world rankings, respectively, lived up to their top seeding in the Hopman Cup at the weekend, defeating France in their singles matches to triumph in the final. Kvitová, in action first, defeated Marion Bartoli 7-5 6-1, while Berdych triumphed 7:6, 6:4 over Richard Gasquet. It was the duo’s strategy, whenever possible in the tournament to dominate in the singles matches and they succeeded admirably. Besides winning the cup, Kvitová and Berdych were each awarded a tennis ball-shaped trophy studded in diamonds. The Czech Republic now has two Hopman Cup titles to its name; Jana Novotná and Petr Korda succeeded first in 1994.
Czech speed skater Martina Sáblíková, the world-record holder in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters, won the European speed skating championships in Budapest, on Saturday, the fourth time in her career and third time running she has clinched the title. In the 5,000-meter race Sáblíková finished ahead of German competitor Claudia Pechstein and Ireen Wüst of the Netherlands. Sáblíková is also a two-time Olympic gold medal winner.
In cross-country skiing, Czech skier Lukáš Bauer came in sixth at the weekend in the Tour de Ski. Martin Jakš, also of the Czech Republic, came in ninth at the cross-country skiing event, which finished with the final climb up the Italian Val die Fiemme on Sunday. The competition was won by Swiss racer Dario Cologna; Marcus Hellner of Sweden came in second. Bauer has won the Tour de Ski twice in his career, in 2008 and in 2010. Last year Bauer finished in third place, clinching the bronze.
The Jizerská padesátka (or Jizerská 50 km) cross-country skiing race was held on Sunday, attracting hundreds of amateur enthusiasts as well as professional skiers. Czech cross-country skier Stanislav Řezáč won the race for the third time in his career. Previously, he had taken the title in 2000 and 2001. Commenting on his victory, he said it was the domestic title he considered the most important. Swede Jimmie Johnsson came in second, ahead of Norway’s Jörgen Aukland.
Star hockey player Jaromír Jágr’s Philadelphia Flyers lost a 4:2 lead over the Ottawa Senators in their latest NHL game, when Jágr gave up the puck near the blue line to Erik Karlsson, who skated in on the breakaway and tied the game at four apiece. The Senators added two more to take the game 6:4. Jágr afterwards was unclear exactly what had gone wrong, regretting that he had the puck poked away. Originally, Jágr wasn’t even expected to play after a groin injury it was thought he would be out for ten days. He was unable to get onto the scoreboard in the losing effort.
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