American hockey players Troy Milam and Alex Foster are halfway through a year-long contract with Sparta Prague, currently the top team in the Czech Extra League. After an important win over their major rivals HC Plzeň, reporters Lothar Martin and Lena Drummer from Radio Prague’s German section met up with the players and asked what they attributed Sparta’s success to.
In Sports News: Two tough wins by tennis player Petra Kvitová at the weekend advanced the Czech Republic to the semi-final of the Fed Cup; preliminary matches in Spain between Czech top flight football club Sparta Prague and Switzerland’s Bellinzona ended following incident; in the NHL, Plekanec scores, earns an assist to help Montreal Canadiens down the Winnipeg Jets; in the domestic hockey league, Kometa Brno trounce Vítkovice.
The Australian Open ended with mixed blessings for the Czech players, the happiest of whom was doubtless Radek Štěpánek. Unseeded Štěpánek and Leander Paes of India won the men’s doubles tournament, defeating the defending champions, the American Bryan twins, 7-6, 6-2. With that, Karviná native Štěpánek leapt forward 68 places in the rankings to world 23rd, two places behind his compatriot František Čermák.
Men’s World No. 7 Tomáš Berdych had been having a good season so far – recently wining, for example, the Hopman Cup in Australia with women’s player Petra Kvitová; but on Tuesday he faced an even bigger challenge: trying to get past Spain’s Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open to reach his first-ever semi-final at the Grand Slam tournament.
The Aleš Loprais crew, of the Czech Republic, has retired from the Dakar Rally after its Tatra Jamal truck got into a severe accident in the competition’s 9th stage. Racer Aleš Loprais was hospitalized with a spinal injury while one of the team’s mechanics who was driving at the time of the accident suffered a concussion.
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.
In Sports News: Czech tennis players Petra Kvitová and Tomáš Berdych give Czech Republic a 2-1 win over Bulgaria in their opening match-up in the Hopman Cup; Britain’s Andy Murray appoints 51-year-old tennis legend Ivan Lendl as his new full-time coach; ski jumper Roman Koudelka finishes in top 10 at Garmisch-Partenkirchen in the prestigious Four Hills Tournament; star hockey player Jaromír Jágr will, for the first time in his career, play in the NHL’s Winter Classic held outdoors under an open sky; the Czech squad at the World Junior Hockey Championship