Sports News

Roman Sebrle (Photo: CTK)

13th seed Jiri Novak tumbles out of the French Open, while Czech-born Martina Navratilova excels in the doubles; Viktoria Zizkov secure last available spot for preliminary round of UEFA Cup; Roman Sebrle crown of decathlon at Gotz for record third time; and Patrik Elias scores in a losing effort by New Jersey in the third match of the Stanley Cup Finals. All looked at in today's edition.

French Open: Novak bounced by1998 champion Carlos Moya

Jiri Novak, photo: CTK
The courts at Rolland Garros have not been kind to Czechs in the singles tournament, the last player, Jiri Novak, going out on Sunday. Despite achieving a career-high at the French Open reaching the last 16, 13th seed Jiri Novak fell to 1998 champion Carlos Moya. It took the Spaniard, ranked 4th, just 1 hour and 43 minutes to down the Czech player. Even so the first set was close at twelve games. Novak eventually lost by a score of 7- 5. But, it could have been a different story had the Czech been able to break his opponent's serve at least once in the first set: he had no less than six opportunities to do so. He lost another two opportunities in the rest of the match, and the 2nd and 3rd sets were not nearly as close: Moya won those by a score of 6-3, 6-2.

Doubles: No stopping Navratilova and Kuznecovova

It was a different story in doubles on Sunday when Navratilova and her Russian counterpart swept past Russian/Japanese duo Zidkovova/Morigami in a three set nail-biter in the 2nd round. Navratilova and her partner lost the first set 3 - 6, but edged their opponents in the 2nd, winning the crucial tiebreak 7-6. The 3rd set also came out better for Navratilova and company: the duo won that by a score of 6-4.

Viktoria Zizkov secure spot in UEFA Cup

Although the Czech football league title had been wrapped up by champions Sparta Prague, there still remained a lot to play for over the weekend, namely qualifying for preliminary-rounds in European tournament play. Up for grabs was a final entry in pre-rounds for the UEFA cup, being chased neck and neck by third-place Zizkov and 4th place Slovan-Liberec. Zizkov missed an opportunity to sew up the spot straight out, had they won over Ostrava, instead of only gaining a lacklustre tie of 1-1. However, because Liberec also tied, Zizkov were able to hang on for the spot.

League play: notable matches

Other more notable matches in the 30th round of the Gambrinus liga over the weekend saw this season's champions Sparta surprisingly downed by Zlin 2-1, and league runners-up Slavia closing out Olomouc 2-0.

Sebrle wins decathlon at Gotz for record third time

Roman Sebrle, photo: CTK
In athletics Czech decathlon specialist Roman Sebrle triumphed in Austria's Gotz over the weekend by winning the decathlon meet there for a record third time in a row. Behind American opponent Tom Pappas by just one point on Saturday, Sebrle's performance saw ups and downs on Sunday, though he did shine in the javelin throw and the final 1,500 metres, enough to secure the victory. While some wilted in the record heat, it clearly wasn't the case with Roman Sebrle. His final tally: 8807 points.

Elias' goal not enough to put Devils in drivers seat

The NHL's Stanley Cup Finals are well underway. On Saturday the New Jersey Devils faced off in a crucial game three of a best-of seven against the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, both teams with Czech hockey stars on the roster, former co-team-mates Patrik Elias and Petr Sykora. The Devil's Elias struck in the second period to level the score at one, and gain the momentum, but it would prove not enough after Devil's goaltender Martin Brodeur mishandled the puck just 45 seconds later, leading to a somewhat embarrassing goal. The Ducks eventually won in overtime, but their own Petr Sykora did not make it onto the score sheet.