By Nick Carey
Yes, it's time now for the sports roundup on Radio Prague, and some football fans have cause to celebrate in the Czech Republic, while tennis lovers have unfortunately been disappointed yet again by the performance of Czech tennis players in international tournaments.
Football first, and Sparta Prague continue to do well in the Champions League, a tournament that has never brought them too much luck in the past. After a 0-0 draw away with former champions Bayern Munich and a stomping home 4-0 victory over Dutch side Feyenoord, Sparta faced Spartak Moscow on Wednesday in Prague. And right from the start of the match, Sparta dominated play, with six chances in the first half but no goals, leaving the half-time score at 0-0. But not long into the second half, in the 57th minute of play, striker Marek Kincl pounced on a rebound from Spartak's goalkeeper, and slotted the ball neatly in the back of the net. And just before the end of play, in the 88th minute, Libor Sionko added a second goal, after dodging round Spartak's defence. The final score then was 2-0, putting Sparta at the top of group H in the Champions League, with seven points, two points clear of Bayern Munich. With three games left to go, two of them away, Sparta Prague's chances of making it through the second group phase of the Champions League are looking good. And with two wins, one draw and no goals conceded, the team's hopes are riding high.
Tennis now and the fortunes of Czech tennis players in international tournaments continue to be mixed. The news was certainly not promising for4 Lenka Nemeckova, as she was obliterated 6-0 6-0 in just forty-two minutes in the first round of the Shanghai Open on Tuesday by Monica Seles. "It was one of those days where you can't do anything wrong," Seles said afterwards, "Those types of days are what you work toward". I am not sure if Lenka Nemeckova would share the sentiment.
Things also looked grim for Michal Tabara, who went out, albeit after a struggle, in the second round of the Lyon Grand Prix in France on Wednesday, after being defeated 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, by Argentinian Gaston Gaudio. And in the first round of the CA-Trophy ATP tournament in Vienna, the news was a mixture of good and bad. Bad for Jiri Vanek, who was beaten 4-6 6-3 6-2 by Austrian Stefan Koubek, good for Bohdan Ulihrach, who defeated Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia 7-6 6-3, and for Jiri Novak, who crushed Britain's Greg Rusedski 6-2 6-2. Fingers crossed then for the second round.