Sports News

By Ian Willoughby

The Czech tennis player Barbora Strycova has won the junior category at the Australian Open, beating the Russian Marie Sharapovova in the final 6:0 7:5. It was the greatest success so far in the 15-year-old's career.

"Last year we won the doubles but the singles didn't go too well for me. I lost in the second round - I was really nervous because last year was my first Grand Slam. Before the game I wasn't nervous at all and in the second set when I realised I could win a Grand Slam I started to be a bit more nervous. I was nervous but then I somehow managed it in the end."

Strycova has to go back to school in Plzen when she arrives from Melbourne, something the young player says she is not at all happy about. She also says she wants to go professional and win every Grand Slam tournament. Let's hope her dream comes true some day.

The two members of the Czech biathlon team who were injured in a car crash last week are to fly out to Salt Lake City for the Winter Olympics on Tuesday. Zdenka Vejnarova received a black eye during the crash while Eva Hakova suffered concussion - both had been doubtful for the games. The biathlon involves cross-country skiing and shooting.

Moving onto football and the Czech Republic will face the Netherlands, Austria, Belarus and Moldova in the qualification round for the 2004 European Championships in Portugal. Clearly the Dutch will be the toughest competition for the Czech Republic.

Sticking with football, the Russian club Dynamo Moscow is showing a lot of interest in Czech players. During the winter break the Moscow club have signed Martin Hysky from Slavia Prague and Erich Brabec from Drnovice - the Czech players are to form the base of the Dymano defence, the club's coach said. Now the Ostrava midfielder Bronislav Cervenka is being given a trial by the club.

Ice hockey now and after the latest games in the Czech Extraliga, Sparta Prague are still on top, following a 3:2 victory over Vsetin. There was some change at the bottom of the table though - Kladno moved from last to second last by beating Havirov 7:3. Litvinov lost 5:3 to Znojmo and are now last.