Sports News

Photo: CTK

In Sports News this Monday: In tennis, Petra Kvitová slips one spot in world rankings after her elimination from WTA Finals; Sparta Prague closes in on Plzeň in domestic league, and first Czech pilot claims podium in Red Bull Air Race.

Tennis: Kvitová slips to 4th place in WTA rankings

Petra Kvitová,  photo: CTK
Following her elimination from the WTA Finals in Singapore, Czech top tennis player Petra Kvitová has slipped one spot to 4th place in the WTA rankings. The Wimbledon champion lost her chance to reach the final at the end-of-season event after she lost to Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacky 6-2 6-3 in their round robin stage tie on Thursday, and was knocked out. But she told the WTA Finals website she had some good moments at the tournament.

“I beat Maria [Sharapova] so I think that was a good win for me after a long time when I could not beat her, so that’s one positive thing from this week. I worked really hard to qualify and I’m disappointed I didn’t make it to the final. But it’s a difficult tournament and that’s what happened.”

Tomáš Berdych,  photo: Francisco Diez,  CC 2.0
The WTA Finals was a disappointing closure of what has otherwise been a successful season. Kvitová claimed her second career Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, and won several other events.

“The second part of the season was great; I won a Grand Slam, two titles on hard courts, and I felt well and comfortable on the court. I knew that my game was great during those moments, and I hope it will continue in the future.”

In men’s tennis, world number five Tomáš Berdych has been participating in the ATP World Tour Finals for three consecutive years. But two weeks before this year’s event kicks off in London, the 29-year-old Czech is yet to qualify; he will try to do that at the Paris Masters which gets underway on Monday.

Football: Sparta closes in on Plzeň in top division

Sparta Prague - FC Mladá Boleslav,  photo: CTK
Moving on to football now, where Sparta Prague recovered after their last week’s Europa League tie in Bratislava was tainted by crowd violence, and beat Mladá Boleslav 1:0 in the 12th round of Gambrinus Liga on Sunday. The winning goal came from midfielder Bořek Dočkal, Sparta’s brightest star at the moment.

Mladá Boleslav focused mainly on the defence in the match as most teams that face Sparta on their home ground. Sparta midfielder Mario Holek describes his team’s formula for success.

Sparta Prague - FC Mladá Boleslav,  photo: CTK
“These are difficult games, a real offensive slog. But good movement and passing helps to overcome this, as we saw last season. But now, opponents seem to be better prepared and focused which makes it more difficult. But so far, we have always been able to score.”

Sparta, ranking second in the league table, trail one point behind Plzeň. The two teams will clash in the highlight of the Gambrinus Liga’s next round in Plzeň on Saturday.

First Czech pilot claims podium in Red Bull Air Race

Nigel Lamb,  Nicolas Ivanoff and Martin Sonka,  photo: CTK
And finally, Martin Šonka has become the first Czech pilot to reach the podium in the Red Bull Air Race after he finished third in the series’ final event in Spielberg, Austria on Sunday. Šonka, who finished eighth overall in the season, was in fact hoping to win the event but collected a two-second penalty for incorrectly flying through one of the gates. At a news conference after the race, the Czech was still a little disappointed.

“It’s my first podium and I thought I’d be much happier when it happens but we lost a much better result. But this is sport, and we have to get over it.

“It was a good week for us, and from the start I felt like I was at home because it’s the closest race for me and there were many Czech fans. Actually, the whole crowd was amazing.”