Sports News

By Nick Carey

Time now for the sports roundup here on Radio Prague, and we'll start off with the mixed bag that is the fortunes of the Czech Republic's tennis players in international tournaments. The Grand Prix WTA women's singles tournament in Leipzig has not been the best of tournaments for the Czechs. In the first round Denisa Chladkova was defeated 6-3 6-3 by Magdalena Maleeva of Bulgaria, and in a tense, three-hour marathon of a match Daja Bedanova was finally beaten 7-5 5-7 6-4 by Anne Kremer of Luxembourg. The only good start to the tournament was had by Kveta Hrdlickova, who beat Spain's Magui Serna 6-1 6-3, but then foundered in the second round where she was beaten after a struggle by Italian Silvia Farina Elia, 6-3 4-6 7-6.

In the Sicily International ATP tournament, Jiri Vanek has started well, beating Jacobo Diaz of Spain 6-3 6-3 in the first round of the men's singles tournament, before going on to Sweden's Andreas Vinciguerra 6-4 6-4. And way over on the other side of the globe, in the first round of the Hong Kong ATP tournament, Daniel Vacek was knocked out swiftly in straight sets by Chilean Marcelo Rios, 6-2 6-1.

Football now, and great news for Sparta Prague and bad news for another Prague team, Viktoria Zizkov. The second leg of the first round of the UEFA Cup ended badly for Viktoria Zizkov, as they were defeated 1-0 away by Austrian side Innsbruck, after drawing 0-0 at home. Innsbruck win 1-0 on aggregate and go on to the second round, and Viktoria Zizkov is out of the tournament. Better luck next time, perhaps.

Sparta Prague, on the other hand, have added a stylish victory to their first game in the Champions League, which ended in a 0-0 away draw against last year's champions Bayern Munich. The second match couldn't have gone much better for Sparta, as they convincingly defeated Dutch side Feyenoord on Tuesday. The Czechs took the lead in the 24th minute when Lukas Hartig found the net with a great strike, and in the 37th minute disaster struck the Dutch, as team captain Ulrich van Gobbel brought down Libor Sionka in the penalty box, earning him a second yellow card and a sending off. Vladimir Labant slotted in the penalty, making the score 2-0 at half-time. Sparta dominated the second half, with a third goal from Marek Kincl in the 71st minute, and a fourth just three minutes later from Ratislav Michalik. The final score 4-0, and Sparta top their Champions League group, level on points with Bayern Munich, but ahead on goal difference.