The Australian Open ended with mixed blessings for the Czech players, the happiest of whom was doubtless Radek Štěpánek. Unseeded Štěpánek and Leander Paes of India won the men’s doubles tournament, defeating the defending champions, the American Bryan twins, 7-6, 6-2. With that, Karviná native Štěpánek leapt forward 68 places in the rankings to world 23rd, two places behind his compatriot František Čermák.
Radek Štěpánek, Leander Paes, photo: CTK
The Australian Open ended with mixed blessings for the Czech players, the happiest of whom was doubtless Radek Štěpánek. Unseeded Štěpánek and Leander Paes of India won the men’s doubles tournament, defeating the defending champions, the American Bryan twins, 7-6, 6-2. With that, Karviná native Štěpánek leapt forward 68 places in the rankings to world 23rd, two places behind his compatriot František Čermák. Favourite Petra Kvitová was knocked out in the semi-final losing to the eventual runner-up Maria Sharapova, but retains her second-place in the Women's Tennis Association rankings. This is what she had to say after the match:
Petra Kvitová, Maria Sharapova, photo: CTK
“The beginning was a bit nerve-racking for me and I simply wasn’t ready for a semi-final round. In the first set I was stiff and I guess that cost me. I tried to turn it around in the second set, and get back to the kind of tennis I usually play, because in the first set I had been under pressure the whole time. And in the third set, I had some chances to break, but unfortunately she was in form. I guess that’s what it’s all about, taking advantage of your opportunities for bigger points, and that’s what Sharapova did today.”
Likewise, the ATP standing of Tomáš Berdych was uneffected by his quarterfinal loss last week to Rafael Nadal – he remains in seventh place.
Speed skater Karolína Erbanová might have left her premiere in the 2012 World Sprint Speed Skating Championships in Calgary last weekend in 17th place overall, but she set a few records nonetheless, setting a new combined score for an under 19-year-old with 152,470 points. That was thanks to the new national records Erbanová set in the 500m race and in the kilometre race, where she actually managed to tie the world juniors’ record of four years ago. Even with a 17th place finish and overcoming an ankle problem, Erbanová managed to fulfil another mission set by her coach, namely securing two places for the Czech Republic in the next sprint championship.
Zdeněk Štybar, photo: CTK
Cyclo-cross racer Zdeňek Štybar lost the champion’s rainbow jersey he has worn for the last two years to Niels Albert, after losing more than three and a quarter minutes in the world championships in Belgium while running a fever and coming in in 13th place. Štybar was clearly unhappy with the fact, saying it hurt, that he had enjoyed the jersey for two years, but such was sport. Albert meanwhile took a convincing win ahead of six other Belgians; the first Czech through the sandy track was Radomír Šimůnek in 8th place.
Lastly, Plzeň footballer David Bystroň will likely be waiting for a UEFA verdict on doping charges until the end of February, according to the daily Mladá fronta, which also speculates the central defender may have taken the methamphetamine known as pervitín that he received at a party. Bystroň was automatically suspended at the beginning of January; he could be given a two to four year ban by UEFA’s disciplinary committee depending on what the drug tests show, if anything. Meanwhile Plzeň awaits its biggest home match on February 19, when it will defend its league title against Teplice.