In Sports News this Monday: Kvitová starts season with victory in Shenzhen Open – and targets another Grand Slam trophy; Czechs make winning start in Hopman Cup; Jágr becomes oldest player to score NHL hat trick; and Koudelka is off pace in Four Hills after 10th place finish in Innsbruck.
World tennis number four Petra Kvitová has got her season off to a good start, beating Ying-Ying Duan in the first round of China’s Shenzhen Open on Monday. Kvitová made light work of the local player, achieving a 6-3 6-1 victory in just an hour to set up a second-round clash with compatriot Tereza Smitková. Speaking about her overall targets for the season, Kvitová says she would like to match last year’s triumph at Wimbledon, her second, and that reaching first place in the world rankings is not a priority.
“I’d like to win another Grand Slam title. I know how hard it is. After my first one, it took me a long time to achieve a second – I hope the next wait is not so long… Maybe it’s better that I’m not focused on becoming number one. It reflects results over the season, but I’m more focussed on my game. For me, winning a Grand Slam tournament is a bigger achievement.”
The Czech team won their opening tie at tennis’s mixed Hopman Cup event in Australia’s Perth on Sunday when Lucie Šafářová and Adam Pavlásek overcame a Canadian pairing. The Czechs next take on Italy, on Tuesday.
Czech ice hockey star Jaromír Jágr has become the oldest ever player to bag a hat trick in the history of the NHL. Just over a month short of his 43rd birthday, the right wing found the net three times in New Jersey’s 5:2 win over Philadelphia on Saturday to break the previous age record held by Gordie Howe. Jágr joked afterwards that he liked scoring goals but didn’t want to be the oldest.
Roman Koudelka came tenth in the third event of the Four Hills ski jumping competition at Austria's Innsbruck. The Czech had come fourth in qualification, but said intermittent crosswinds made the going tough during Sunday’s final.
“The jumps went well and I was satisfied with them. But unfortunately the weather didn’t do us any favours at all. If the conditions for me had been the same as for Freitag, I would have also made 132 metres.”
Germany’s Richard Freitag came first in Innsbruck and is fifth overall. Austrian Stepan Kraft is first overall with one stage of the Four Hills remaining, while Roman Koudelka lies in ninth.
Sparta Prague may be a dominant force in Czech soccer but their books will not be the envy of other clubs. It has just been revealed that the defending champions recorded a loss of CZK 140 million last season. However, that still represents an improvement on their financial results for the previous two seasons. In fact, Sparta have only recorded a profit in one season since being bought by wealthy businessman Daniel Křetínský in 2004.
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