By Peter Smith.
Sport now and you just can't put a good woman down - and that certainly applies in the case of the Czech-born tennis legend Martina Navratilova. At the tender age of 44, Navratilova has decided to step out of retirement once again to compete in seven doubles tournaments alongside the Spaniard Arantxa Sanchez Vicario.
Navratilova's first WTA event of 2001 will be in Miami in the middle of March, and her career is scheduled to wrap-up once again at Wimbledon in the summer. After that, Navratilova said earlier this week "we will see." The obvious motivation for Navratilova is the chance to equal the record set by great Billie Jean King's 20 Wimbledon titles. Navratilova tried and failed to achieve the feat in last year's event alongside Marian de Swardt - the duo going down in the quarters to those pesky Williams sisters.
Anyway, with the Australian Open beginning next Monday, the warm-up tournaments are in full swing. Michal Tabara was obviously so elated by his victory in the Indian Open last week that he duly crashed out of the Auckland event in the first round. Tabara falling to earth with loud bump - beaten 6-4 6-4 by the unfancied Juan Balcells.
Football now and there has been some scathing criticism of Sparta Prague from one of their own players. The former Czech international Miroslav Kadlec has accused the Gambrinus League champions of being "greedy" in their handling of Tomas Rosicky's record move to Borussia Dortmund of the Bundesliga.
Kadlec - who played for Kaiserslautern during the late 1990s - believes that at 20 years old - Rosicky is simply too young for a move abroad. "I would have advised him to stay another 18 months in the Czech Republic," said Kadlec. "He doesn't yet speak the language - if he fails to adapt, his form will dip." Time will no doubt tell.
Finally, a fine return to form for cross-country skier Katerina Neumannova. The Czech won her first race in two years during the pursuit event at Soldier Hollow, Utah on Wednesday.