In Sports News this Monday: Petra Kvitová’s impressive win at Wimbledon; Czech girls finish fourth at U17 world basketball championships; and two Czech riders take part in Tour de France.
Petra Kvitová claimed her second Wimbledon title in three years when she thrashed Canadian Eugenie Bouchard 6-3 6-0 in the ladies singles final on Saturday. Kvitová won in just 55 minutes, the shortest final in 31 years. Addressing a post-match news conference, the 24 year-old Czech said it was one the best performances in her career.
“It was definitely one of the best matches that I’ve played. I knew I could play well on grass but today, I really played well. I knew exactly what I had to do to win; I was very focused on every point and I knew I had to go forward for every shot to push her, and I did it.”
Petra Kvitová’s aggressive and powerful performance in the finals impressed many legends of the sport including the Czech-born nine-time Wimbledon champion Martina Navrátilová; she said she knew Kvitová was on her way to the title just after the first two points of the match. But Kvitová admitted she was quite nervous.
“I love to play finals and I love to play on the big court, it’s something really special. It does not feel like a tournament. But I knew it was it was the final of course, with all the emotions. It’s like playing in the Fed Cup for the Czech Republic when I feel the crowd and my stomach feels a little funny. When I won the first set, I said to myself, ‘I have to keep at it’, and I was worried if I can do this for the rest of the match. But I did it.”
Following her Wimbledon win, Petra Kvitová has moved up two places to fourth spot in the world WTA ranking. Another Czech Lucie Šafářová, who lost to Kvitová in the Wimbledon semi-final, has ascended from 23rd to 17th place in the world, her career best. Among the men, Tomáš Berdych has moved from sixth to fifth place in the world despite his loss in the third round at Wimbledon.
Moving on to basketball now where the Czech women’s national team finished fourth at the under-17 world championships held in the Czech Republic, scoring the best ever result. Having lost to Spain in the tournament’s semi-final last week, the Czechs were beaten by Hungary 61-67 in the third place game in Plzeň on Sunday. Czech team captain Karolína Malečková said they wanted to win in front of the home crowed but failed to check the Hungarians’ advance onset. Manager Richard Fousek however believes the fourth place in the world is a sign of Czech basketball’s increasing competitiveness.
And finally, after Roman Kreuziger was ruled out of this year’s Tour de France by his team over anomalies in his biological passport, two Czech riders are participating in the 101st edition cycle race which kicked off in the UK at the weekend. 26-year old Leopold König and 29-year-old Jan Bárta, both of the German-based NetApp-Endura team, are both competing at the Tour de France for the first time. König is ranked 23rd after the first two stages of the race, having finished 29th in Sunday’s stage two. Before the start of the race, the rider told Czech TV he was aspiring to finish in the top ten. His team colleague, Jan Bárta, meanwhile, is ranked 80th, and says he would like to score a stage win during his Tour de France debut.