In this week’s Sports News, Czech preparations go smoothly for the Davis Cup clash with Spain; Šárka Záhrobská does what she does best in Aspen, Colorado, with another downhill slalom World Cup victory; and Sparta Prague catch up to Teplice at the top of the football league, although the flu-struck league leaders were allowed to make an early start to the winter break.
Czechs take heart from Davis Cup final preparations as doubts overshadow Spain
But while the full Czech team starring Radek Štěpánek and Tomáš Berdych assembled in Spain with very few worries, the Spanish preparations have been overshadowed by doubts. The first doubt is whether Fernando Verdasco will be able to overcome an injury which will allow him to play in one of the opening singles and in the later doubles. The second doubt focuses on the form of Spain’s star player, world number two Rafael Nadal. His pre-final preparations included a miserable run of straight set defeats at the season ending Masters’ tournament in London. But although Nadal appears a shadow of his storming self, Czech captain Jaroslav Navrátil is certainly not underestimating him.
The first of the five matches starts on Friday.
Šárka Záhrobská picks up second World Cup slalom title at Aspen
Sparta join Teplice at the top after doctor’s note earns postponement
In the domestic Czech football league, Sparta Prague have joined Teplice at the top of the table on 32 points after a 2: 0 away win over Bohemians 1905. Teplice have a game in hand after the swine-flu struck squad won an appeal to league bosses for its game against Pilsen to be postponed. Teplice had announced that its list of flu-struck players had increased by four with just six fully fit first team players available. Its appeal was accompanied by a letter from the regional health officer calling for the game to be called off. Teplice were ordered to play the previous league match even though swine flue had started to take its toll. They crashed 2:6 against mid-table Olomouc.