In Sports News this Monday: Federer promotes Laver Cup in Prague; local Smutná wins women’s race in fiftieth edition of Jizerská padesátka cross country skiing race; no win for Koukalová on final day of successful Biathlon World Championships; and abuse of African Sparta player dominates headlines as league returns.
Federer promotes new Laver Cup in Prague
“I guess I would love to play with Rafa [Nadal], just because our rivalry has been so special. And I’ve seen his wicked forehand go past me so often that it would be nice to have him on my team and actually admire his forehand and admire his shot-making. I think that would actually be quite special. But the same thing goes for a lot of players at the top who I’ve never had a chance to play with. Tomáš [Berdych] is one of those players – I think we could actually match up very well in doubles. He’s got pure technique, classic playing style, a great serve, a good return. It’s exactly what we need in doubles and maybe that could be a crucial point for Team Europe.”
Local Smutná wins 50th Jizerská padesátka
Smutná was far from sad after what was her own second victory in the famous race.
“It was a fantastic race from my perspective – I really enjoyed. I’ve trained here since I was a girl and the crowd really spurred me on. I’d like to thank them very much. We may raise a glass but it won’t be a big celebration as I’m leaving on Tuesday and I’ve got to pack.”
Kateřina Smutná’s next destination is the Nordic World Ski Championships. They get underway in Finland’s Lahti on Tuesday and the Czech will be competing in the 10 kilometre classical.
Řezáč: 2017 Jizerská padesátka among fastest ever
“I think it was never under two hours here before, not even when it was shortened. So you can see the standard and this competitive sport of ours is on the up and up.”
No final day medal for biathlon star Koukalová at successful Worlds
Abuse of Ivory Coast player dominates league return
The Czech soccer league resumed after the winter break at the weekend and it was pretty much as you were, with leaders Viktoria Plzeň beating Příbram 1:0 and second-placed Sparta Prague overcoming Bohemians 1905 by the same score line. The latter game was dominated by reactions to Sparta’s Ivory Coast forward Tiemoko Konate. The Prague club has been fined in the past for racist chants and their “ultra” fans shouted abuse when Konate’s name was read out before the game. However, other fans vocally supported the African player.