Sports News

Radek Stepanek, photo: si.robi, CC BY-SA 2.0
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In Sports News: the Czech couple Berdych and Safarova are knocked out in the first round of tennis's Hopman Cup, while newly engaged Radek Stepanek makes a losing return from injury in Adelaide; ski jumper Jakub Janda is too far behind the leader to defend his Four Hills title, while cross country great Katerina Neumannova notches up her best sprint result in two years; Juventus declare an interest in Zdenek Grygera; and Slavia beat Sparta in the annual New Year's day old boys derby.

Czech couple beaten in first round of Hopman Cup...

The world of tennis is currently focused Down Under, with a number of tournaments taking place ahead of the year's first Grand Slam, the Australian Open. The Czech contingent in Australia haven't enjoyed the best few days. Seeded third in Perth's Hopman Cup, the Czech duo of Tomas Berdych and Lucie Safarova - also a couple off-court - were unexpectedly defeated in the first round by India.

...while Stepanek makes losing return after injury

Radek Stepanek, photo: si.robi, CC BY-SA 2.0
Radek Stepanek made a return from injury at the Adelaide International on Tuesday but was beaten in two sets by Vince Spadea of the US in his first match of the round robin event. Stepanek has been the focus of media attention recently, after becoming engaged to Martina Hingis; Hingis's mother is Czech and the former world number one lived in Moravia for a short period as a child.

Janda too far behind to defend Four Hills title

Jakub Janda
Back in the Northern Hemisphere, it hasn't been the best of seasons so far for ski jumper Jakub Janda. After last year becoming the first Czech to win the World Cup, things have gone, well, downhill, for the 28-year-old. The joint winner of last year's Four Hills, Janda is 17th in the placings half-way through this season's competition; he lies 67 points behind the leader, which means he now has no chance of defending his title. He finished 21st in Oberstdorf on Saturday and an improved 13th in Garmisch-Partenkirchen on Monday.

Neuamannova into last few months of career

Katerina Neumannova
Olympic cross country skiing champion Katerina Neumannova is now into the last few months of her career - the 34-year-old says no matter what happens she is retiring at the end of April. Between now and then she'll be hoping to crown a brilliant career with wins at the World Championships and in the World Cup, which she has never won. On New Year's eve Neumannova was in action in the Tour de Ski in Munich where she finished 21st; it was her best result in the sprint - not her favoured discipline - for two years.

Juve declare interest in signing Grygera

Zdenek Grygera
Juventus Turin have publicly admitted interest in Ajax Amsterdam's Czech footballer Zdenek Grygera. The 26-year-old is out of contract next summer and has declined an offer to stay on at Ajax.

Free agent Bolf injured, out for six months

Former international Rene Bolf isn't having a happy New Year. Currently a free agent, the 32-year old was considering offers from English clubs. But a knee injury sustained during a kickabout put paid to that: his agent says Bolf will be out for around six months.

Slavia old boys triumph in New Year's day derbies

Here in Prague, the traditional New Year's Day Sparta-Slavia old boys game was won 5:0 by Slavia in the over-35s category. The over 50s match was won 10:5 by Slavia.