Czech tennis player Tomáš Berdych got off to an excellent start on Friday in the Czechs’ first game of this year’s Davis Cup. In the opening singles match in Belgium, Berdych beat No. 1 home player Olivier Rochus 6:3, 6:0, 6:4. The second match slated for Friday, pit Radek Štepánek against Xavier Malisse and was equally successful for the Czechs: Štepánek won in straight sets by a score of 6:2, 6:4 7:6. The Czechs are hoping to repeat last year’s highly-successful run, which saw them all the way through to the finals in Spain. While the Czechs played brilliantly against Croatia in the semis, they were unable to steal a win from Spain, the eventual tournament champions.
The Belgian tennis federation has named the four players to play the Czech Republic in the first round Davis Cup tie from March 5-7. The four strong squad is made up of brothers Olivier and Christophe Rochus, Xavier Malisse and Steve Darcis. Olivier Rochus is the highest placed player at 58 in the current ATP rankings. The tie will be the first test of the Czech team’s ambition to go one better than in the previous Davis Cup competition when they lost all five matches against Spain. The World Group tie will be held at Bree in Belgium.
Czechs Iveta Benešová and Barbora Záhlavová-Strýcová secured the title in doubles at the Open GDF Suez in Paris on Sunday after their opponents, top-seeded Cara Black, of Zimbabwe, and Liezel Huber, of the United States, failed to show up for the game. In singles final, Czech Republic’s Lucie Šafářová lost to top seed Yelena Dementeva from Russia 7:6, 1:6 and 4:6. Paris was Šafářová’s eight tournament final in career, and the fourth she lost.
Czech tennis player Lucie Šafářová beat second seed Flavia Penetta of Italy 4:6, 6:3 and 6:4 in the semi-final of the Open GDF Suez in Paris on Saturday. In Sunday’s final, she will face the winner of the other semi-final – top seed Jelena Dementeva of Russia, or the American Melanie Oudin. The 24-year-old Czech lost the first set but managed to come with exact hits from the base line in the second. In the third set, she won a break point at 4:4 to beat the Italian.
In Sports news this week: the Czech women’s tennis team beats Germany to reach the Fed Cup semi-finals; in football, Czechs will face title holders Spain in the next European 2012 championship qualifications; goalie Petr Čech contributes to Chelsea’s win over city rival Arsenal; and hockey star Jaromír Jágr returns from Russia fit for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
The Czech women’s tennis team have reached the semi-finals of the Fed Cup after beating Germany 3:2 in a World Group first round clash in the Moravian capital Brno. With the tie at 2:2 after the singles rubbers, it all came down to the final, doubles match on Sunday evening. Cheered on by the home crowd, Květa Peschkeová and Lucie Hradecká overcame Tatjana Malek and Anna-Lena Groenefeld 6-1 6-3 to set up a meeting with Italy for a place in the Fed Cup final.
The Czech women’s team are drawing 1:1 with Germany in the first round of the World Group in tennis’s Fed Cup in the Moravian capital Brno. Lucie Šafářová, who had been running a fever earlier this week, was easily beaten 6-2 6-2 by Anna-Lena Groenefeld in the first singles rubber on Saturday afternoon. Later, however, Petra Kvitová beat Andrea Petkovic 6-4 6-4 to even the score. The best-of-five series will continue on Sunday with two more singles matches, followed by a doubles rubber.
In Sports News this Monday: Zdeněk Štybar becomes the first Czech in 19 years to win the Cyclo-cross World Championships, in front of a home crowd in Tábor; Czech Karolína Plíšková takes the junior title at the Australian Open; and goalie Tomáš Vokoun sets a new personal record for shutouts in one season in ice the NHL.
17-year-old Karolína Plíšková has won the girls’ singles event at the Australian Open Juniors Championship in Melbourne, defeating the UK’s Laura Robson. After a pronounced win for the Czech in the first set, Robson came back in the second but lost a tie breaker to end the match 6:1, 7:6. Plíšková’s twin sister, Krystína, was ousted by Robson in the semi-final. In other tennis action, Czech player Jaroslav Levinský and his playing partner, Russian Jekaterina Makarova, have made it to the final in the mixed-doubles.
The Czech Republic’s Karolína Plíšková has made it to the final of the Australian Open Junior’s Championship in Melbourne. The 17-year-old Plíšková could have faced her twin sister, Krystína, who was ousted in the other semi by the UK’s Laura Robson. In other tennis action, Czech player Jaroslav Levinský and his playing partner, Russian Jekaterina Makarova, have made it to the final in the mixed-doubles.
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