Petra Kvitová won her second women’s singles title with a 6:3, 6:0 demolition of Canadian Eugenie Bouchard on Saturday in less than an hour. The win is the 24-yer-old Czech’s second Grand Slam success after triumphing at Wimbledon in 2011. Following that win her form has been intermittent. Kvitová went into the final as the favourite against the young Canadian who was in her first Grand Slam final. Kvitová, who was seeded sixth for the championships, dominated the match, in particular thanks to powerful forehand crosscourt winners.
Petra Kvitová thanked her back up team and family which turned up to witness her triumph. She said her team had worked out a strategy for the final and it paid off. She admitted in the post match interview that she had struggled after her first Wimbledon win in 2011 but hoped that after the second it would be easier. The final was watched by Czech-born nine times Wimbledon singles winner Martina Navrátilová and 1998 Czech singles winner Jana Novotná. Kvitová should move up to fourth ranked women’s player in the world following the Wimbledon win.
The 49th International Film Festival at Karlovy Vary started on Friday night with Oscar winning Oscar winning actor and director Mel Gibson being awarded a Crystal Globe for his lifetime contribution to cinema. Gibson, who admitted it was his first time in the Czech Republic, mixed with crowds of fans and signed autographs before an open air screening of his cult film ‘Mad Max’ from 1979. His last film, Apocalypto, from 2006, will be shown later in the week. He has just finished the filming of Blood Father, in which he stars as a father of an estranged daughter who is being sought by drug dealers.
Gibson’s star guest status at Karlovy Vary has been attacked by Jewish groups in the Czech Republic who highlighted past comments deemed to be anti-Semitic. In an interview at the festival’s launch, Gibson said he had tried to deal with those complaints and dismissed them as ‘just noise.’ The head of the Jewish Community, Petr Papoušek, in a letter to the festival’s organising committee accused Gibson of propagating xenophobic and anti-Jewish sentiments and regretted the film festival had invited him as its star guest. Gibson was criticized for his depiction of Jews in the film, The Passion of the Christ, which he directed and was also caught on tape in an anti-Semitic rant in 2006.
Police have a lead that on the run Czech businessman František Savov has sought refuge in London. The news server Insider said that police had got information on his whereabouts from wiretaps of conversations. Savov, who has been sought since March in connection with suspected tax evasion totalling billions of crowns, is the owner of a series of the Mladá Fronta publishing house and a series of publications including the business paper E15 and magazine Euro.
Czechs have been marking the state holiday of St. Cyril and Methodius on Saturday. One of the main events was the culmination of the tradition pilgrimage festival at Velehrad in South Moravia at the site where the two saints helped establish Christianity more than 1150 years ago and translated the bible in Slavic languages. In a sermon Prague Cardinal Dominík Duka highlighted how Czechs still owe much to the legacy of the two brothers from Byzantium with the greatest heritage being spiritual not material.
A construction company started work Saturday on making safe part of a steep rock face at Děčín in the north of the country where around 25 tonnes of rocks and heavy boulders fell last weekend. Some of the boulders fell amid houses lower down which have been evacuated. Permission for the work to start was given Friday by the local council. It is hoping that the state forestry company which owns the land will contribute to covering at least half the costs of the emergency work.
Around 400 military enthusiasts with horses and field guns re-enacted the 1866 battle of Chlum u Sadov, north of Hradec Králové, on Saturday. The original battle pitted a 215,000 strong Austro-Saxon army against a slightly stronger Prussian army. The battle gave the Prussians a decisive win in the campaign and the leadership of German-speaking nations in Central Europe for the following decades. Participants in the re-enactment came from across Europe and as far away as the United States. The 1866 battle was the second biggest held on European soil during the 19th century.
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