Slavia pull nine points clear with five league rounds to go; second-placed Plzeň have Sparta on their heels; Samková wins snowboard cross World Cup as coach looks forward to “quiet” 2019–2020 season; and Kvitová returns to second in world rankings.
After last week sensationally knocking five-time winners Sevilla out of football’s Europa League, and drawing Chelsea in the quarter-finals, Slavia Prague have now come even closer to lifting the Czech league title for the second time in three years.
When second-placed Viktoria Plzeň suffered a 2:1 defeat at Teplice on Friday, the Prague side didn’t hesitate, overcoming Příbram 2:0 to give themselves a massive nine-point lead with a mere five rounds to go.
Slavia manager Jindřich Trpišovský welcomed Sunday’s victory, though he said his charges were a little off the pace.
“It reminded me of a warmup game in January, during the winter break, when the players train non-stop and have had enough. If I were to sum up the game, I’m pleased that we grabbed the points, that we handled the situation and didn’t hesitate.”
That result was the last straw for the bosses at Příbram, who have since fired Josef Csaplár as coach.
Meanwhile Viktoria Plzeň are not only in danger of failing to retain the league title. If their recent downturn continues, they could be passed out in second place by a resurgent Sparta Prague, who thumped the West Bohemians 4:0 last weekend. Sparta came from behind to beat Olomouc 2:1 on Sunday and are now only five points behind Plzeň.
Snowboarder Eva Samková can look back on her 2018–2019 season with satisfaction. The Czech took gold in snowboard cross at the World Championships in Utah last month and has just come first overall in the World Cup thanks to victory at Veysonnaz in Switzerland at the weekend.
However, her coach Marek Jelinek says he’s already looking forward to next season, when Samková will have a little time to focus on making improvements.
“It will be training for the following season. It’s ‘only’ a World Cup season. For us the World Championships are, of course, more important – in part because of financing. And after that we will have the Olympics. So next year we will try out new snowboards and some new techniques, to make sure that the world doesn’t leave us behind.”
Petra Kvitová has again climbed to second in tennis’s world rankings, equaling her best ever position. The Czech leapfrogged Romania’s Simona Halep, despite being knocked out in the second round in Indian Wells last week. Her compatriot Karolína Plíšková fell two places to seventh.
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