Team Europe won the first two matches of the Laver Cup which kicked off in
Prague on Friday, securing two out of a total of 13 points. The tournament,
in its first year, takes place over three days. In the opening match, Marin
Cilic edged Frances Tiafoe 7-6, 7-6.
Later, Dominic Thiem defeated John Isner in a super tiebreak: the score was 6:7, 7:6, 1:0.
The third match scheduled for Friday will see Team Europe's Zverev take on Team World's Shapovalov
A two-day traditional “vinobraní” wine harvest festival began at
Prague’s Naměstí Míru on Friday, as astronomical summer ended. The
harvest has been celebrated at this site for 11 years.
At vinobraní events, visitors are able to taste various samples including burčák (young wine).
The festival at Naměstí Míru is themed according to the First Republic this year; an accompanying concert by Aneta Langerová will take place at Gröbovka Park.
The former tennis great Ilie Nastase, banned for two years by the
International Tennis Federation for foul-mouthed comments and bad behavior
as Romania's Fed Cup captain, has agreed to serve as a diplomat for
the Czech Republic.
Nastase, who was ranked No. 1 in the world for a little under a year from 1973 to 1974 and is only one of 10 players in history to have won more than 100 ATP professional titles, called the invitation to serve as honorary consul a “great honour”.
Despite Nastase’s fiery temper, Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek said he would represent Czech interests well.
As in previous weeks, academicians and university representatives are
expected to gather before the seat of the government to demand an increase
in next year’s state budget.
On Friday, university representatives said they would settle for a budget bump of 3.0 billion crowns, a billion-and-a-half less than they had called for until now, which they had been promised by then-Education Minister Kateřina Valachová.
They made clear they would continue protests in October if the amount were any less.
The prime minister has called a meeting for Monday to tweak final details
of the proposal for next year’s state budget.
The meeting will take place an hour before the regular cabinet meeting.
It will be attended by the heads of the government parties along with an extra two representatives each. The news was confirmed by cabinet spokesman Martin Ayrer.
Prague’s Municipal Court has dropped charges against five Czechs who had
been accused of planning a terrorist attack on a train near Chuchle’s
railway bridge in 2015.
The prosecution charged that the five, described as anarchists, had prepared and buried two Molotov cocktails containing polystyrene, cooking oil, and gasoline, near a location from where they had allegedly planned to firebomb a train transporting military equipment.
The prosecution argued the five had aimed to threaten lives in the attack. Three of the five charged faced potential sentences between 12 and 20 years in jail.
The lead judge overseeing the case explained that there were unanswered questions about steps taken by the police, which had lacked transparency. The use of undercover agents in the case was also questionable as they may have served the roles of agent provocateurs. Friday’s decision may still be appealed.
Future hockey hall of famer Jaromír Jágr will announce on October 5 which
hockey team he will play with this season, according to reports citing KHL
insider Aivis Kalnins, who in turn referred to the player’s agent.
Jágr, 45, has not received offers for a one-year-contract in the National Hockey League despite having a productive season last year. Earlier this week, Jágr said he would not agree to a team try-out in the NHL and that the KHL was also a possibility.
In mid-August, the forward said he had considered a return to the Czech Republic, where he would play for Kladno, a hockey club he owns. Playing in the Czech Republic would give him freedom to cancel his contract should an NHL offer come through or would allow him to play in the upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
The first Laver Cup tennis team competition pitting Europe against the rest
of the world opens in Prague on Friday with Marin Cilic playing against
Frances Tiafoe in Prague's 02 Arena.
In the three-day tournament, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Tomáš Berdych, Alexander Zverev and Cilic will represent Europe, while John Isner, Sam Querrey, Jack Sock, Francis Tiafoe, Nick Kirgios and Denis Shapovalov will play for Team World.
On Friday, the singles matches Thiem vs Isner and Zverev vs Shapovalov and the doubles match of Nadal and Berdych against Kirgios and Sock will follow.
On Saturday, Nadal, Federer and Berdych will meet Querrey, Sock and Kyrgios in singles matches. Who will play against whom is to be announced only on Saturday morning.
The team reaching 13 points will win the Laver Cup.
In tennis, Czech player Barbora Strýcová has lost in the quarter finals
of the Pan Pacific Open being played in Tokyo, Japan.
Strýcová lost 7:5, 3:6, 1:6 against Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenko.
Earlier, the 31 year old Czech had created a surprise by knocking out fourth seed, British player Jo Konta.