Sports News

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By Peter Smith

Kicking off sport news today, the Czech-born tennis legend Ivan Lendl is to be inducted into the game's Hall of Fame. Lendl - now 40 years old - officially retired from the ATP circuit in 1995 and spent a record 270 weeks as the World Number One and won eight Grand Slam Titles during his career.

"My time in tennis is over," said Lendl after the announcement. "This will be a great closure to my career." Although he reached every US Open Final between 1982 and 1989, Lendl admitted to harbouring regrets about never winning the All England Championships at Wimbledon. However, he insisited "You cannot take greatness away from a player just because they are missing one title." The induction ceremony will take place in Newport, Rhode Island on July 14th.

In other tennis news, the Czech player Adriana Gersi pulled off one of the biggest wins her career by knocking France's Mary Pierce out of the Qatar Open on Wednesday. Gersi - ranked 77th in the world tumbled the number eight and second seed in Doha 6-4, 5-7, 6-0 to advance to the third round.

"I'm at a loss to explain," said Pierce later. "I don't really know what happened." Well, Gersi certainly did, commenting after the match: "I have surprised myself - I just play my natural game and that's what I did today."

In football news, Tomas Ujfalusi is the most surprising name to appear in the Czech Republic's 20-man squad for the forthcoming friendly against Macedonia. The 22-year-old defender, who plays for SV Hamburg in the Bundesliga, admitted that he hadn't expected the call at all. "I just turned up at training this morning as usual and then this," he said. In reality Ujfalusi has been in line for a call-up since he played for the Czech Olympic team in Australia last summer, but national team coach Josef Chovanec has stuck very much to the tried and trusted for the rest of the squad. Only three of Chovanec's selection play for Czech teams - defender Jiri Novotny and midfielder Jiri Jarosik of Sparta Prague and the veteran Slavia striker Pavel Kuka.