Štěpánek sees Czechs through to semis in Davis Cup
It was a remarkable weekend for Czech tennis and fans were jubilant. They had good reason to be: players Radek Štěpánek and fellow team-mates proved triumphant in the quarterfinal of the Davis Cup. It will be the first time they have reached the semis since 1996. At the weekend, the Czechs faced last year’s finalists Argentina, and in the end, proved one the better, beating their opponents three matches to two. The deciding match in Ostrava set Radek Štěpánek against Juan Monaco. Earlier, Štěpánek had complained of a foot injury but lost no stride in taking apart his opponent. The final score: 7:6 (7:5), 6:3, 6:2. Afterwards, here’s what the Czech player had to say:
“Physically I didn’t feel all that strong before the match so I focused on one point at a time. Winning the first set was a huge boost. The feelings I have now are unbelievable.”
The success means the Czechs will next face Croatia in the semis in September. Fans will be hoping that Štěpánek and co. will be able to get past the Croatians to face either Spain or Israel in the final.
Nedvěd turns down offers from Mourinho, Hašek, Juventus
Czech international Pavel Nedvěd, recently retired from Italy’s Juventus, has turned down all manners of offers to return to football. At the weekend he said ‘Thanks, but no thanks’ to Juve rivals Inter Milan and coach Jose Mourinho. According to the papers, the player took the offer seriously, but told La Gazzetta dello Sport that he couldn’t betray his former club. Nedvěd also turned down an offer by Juventus to join the coaching staff. And, he also said ‘No thanks’ to Czech national football coach Ivan Hašek, who had hoped he might bring back the attacking midfielder back one last time. The Czech team is in dire need of extra talent in its bid to make next year’s World Cup. They’ll have to do it without him. Nedvěd has hinted that if he does return to pitch it won’t be in Europe, but possibly in the United States.
Kreuziger 14th after nine stages in Tour de France
After nine stages in the gruelling Tour de France, 23-year-old Czech cyclist Roman Kreuziger is hanging in at 14th spot - 2:40 off the race leader, Italian rider Nocentini. Kreuziger, who rides for Liquigas, told the Czech daily Mlada fronta Dnes he had suffered in recent stages in the Pyrenees but now felt back in form. Kreuziger is riding in what is only his second Tour de France: last year he finished twelfth overall and this year is hoping to break into the top ten.
Knapková 2009 World Cup Champion in single-scull
Czech rower Mirka Knapková triumphed in Lucerne at the weekend to become the women’s single-scull World Cup Champion. It is second time she has clinched the title in her career. The 28-year-old racer enjoyed ideal conditions and crushed the competition – beating New Zealand’s Emma Twigg by almost five seconds.
Star goalie unhappy over logos on helmet
Czech star hockey goalie Dominik Hašek – set to return for Pardubice in the Czech Extraliga hockey league – has reportedly expressed dissatisfaction over his new helmet. Not the item per sae, but its design: thirty percent of which will be covered by advertising. Unlike in the NHL, sponsors in the Czech league bring in the highest club revenues and that means Hašek will not have his way: the ads will remain. His club said that any other decision would be risky, potentially worth losses of hundreds of thousands if not millions of crowns, if a sponsor were to back out of a contract. One thing will remain the same: the helmet will feature the characteristic cage Hašek has famously used throughout his career.