Wednesday, November 16, 2005

2005 Backspin Awards

45 weeks of action. 67 editions of WTA Backspin. 370 weekly player award winners. All to get to this... the 2005 Backspin Awards.

==PLAYER OF THE YEAR==
1.Kim Clijsters
2.Lindsay Davenport
3.Mary Pierce
4.Justine Henin-Hardenne
5.Venus & Serena Williams
6.Maria Sharapova
7.Amelie Mauresmo
8.Cara Black
9.Patty Schnyder
10.Nadia Petrova
HM-Nicole Vaidisova

==RISERS==
1.Anna-Lena Groenefeld
2.Nadia Petrova
3.Elena Dementieva
4.Francesca Schiavone
5.Patty Schnyder
6.Flavia Pennetta
7.Dinara Safina
8.Cara Black
9.Shuai Peng
10.Daniela Hantuchova
HM-Klara Koukalova
& Anabel Medina-Garrigues

==FRESH FACES==
1.Nicole Vaidisova
2.Ana Ivanovic
3.Maria Kirilenko
4.Sania Mirza
5.Lucie Safarova
6.Anna Chakvetadze
7.Zi Yan
8.Sesil Karatantcheva
9.Shahar Peer
10.Viktoria Azarenka
HM-Alexa Glatch
& Sanja Ancic

==VETERANS==
1.Lindsay Davenport
2.Mary Pierce
3.Kveta Peschke
4.Virginia Ruano-Pascual
5.Conchita Martinez
6.Elena Likhovtseva
7.Anna Smashnova
8.Lisa Raymond
9.Rennae Stubbs
10.Martina Navratilova
HM-Silvia Farina Elia
& Maggie Maleeva

==SURPRISES==
1.Samantha Stosur
2.Kveta Peschke
3.Zi Yan
4.Alona Bondarenko
5.Tiantian Sun
6.Roberta Vinci
7.Katarina Srebotnik
8.Maria Vento-Kabchi
9.Nuria Llagostera-Vives
10.Lourdes Dominguez-Lino
HM-Tszvetana Pironkova
& Kristina Barrois

==DOWN==
1.Svetlana Kuznetsova
2.Vera Zvonareva
3.Jennifer Capriati
4.Alicia Molik
5.Tatiana Golovin
6.Jelena Dokic
7.Elena Bovina
8.Anastasia Myskina
9.Meghann Shaughnessy
10.Paola Suarez
HM-Chanda Rubin
& Jelena Kostanic

**TOP PERFORMANCES OF 2005**
1.Clijsters on North American Hardcourts
2.Henin-Hardenne on European claycourts
3.V.Williams wins Wimbledon
4.Dementieva leads Russia to Fed Cup title
5.Clijsters sweeps Indian Wells & Miami
6.S.Williams win Australian Open
7.Pierce's summer surge
8.Davenport double-bagels Sharapova at Indian Wells
9.Vaidisova wins three straight titles/18 matches
10.Mauresmo wins WTA Championships
HM--Hingis leads New York to WTT title


==TOP MATCHES==
1.Australian Open SF - Serena Williams def. Maria Sharapova
...2-6/7-5/8-6. Sharapova serves for match at 5-4 in both 2nd and 3rd sets, but Serena saves three match points and goes on to take the title.
----------------------------
2.Wimbledon Final - Venus Williams def. Lindsay Davenport
...4-6/7-6/9-7. In the longest Wimbledon final (2:45) ever, Venus becomes first woman to save match point and win the title since 1933.
----------------------------
3.Wimbledon 3rd - Anastasia Myskina def. Jelena Jankovic
...6-0/5-7/10-8. First, the Czarina blows a 6-0/5-3 lead and a match point. Then Jankovic rallies and takes a 5-1 lead in the 3rd. She blows her lead, too, as Myskina comes back to win 10-8 in the final set in the 2:43 match. Myskina converted just 9/33 break point chances. Call it the Choke-Comeback-Choke-Comeback Match of the Year.
----------------------------
HM--Roland Garros 4th - Justine Henin-Hardenne def. Svetlana Kuznetsova
...7-6/4-6/7-5. The Contessova leads 5-3 with two match points on JHH's serve in the 3rd, but the Queen fights back -- saying she could see in Kuznetsova's eyes that she was afraid to win the match -- and goes on to take the title. It's the second year in a row the Russian blew match points against the eventual Roland Garros champion (Myskina '04).
----------------------------


**CHOKES OF THE YEAR**
1.U.S. Open 1st - Ekaterina Bychkova def. Svetlana Kuznetsova
...6-3/6-2. Really, though, the "choke" was Kuznetsova's entire North American hardcourt season and failed defense of her 2004 U.S. Open crown.
----------------------------
2.Moscow QF - Mary Pierce def. Elena Likhovtseva
...7-5/4-6/7-6(6). The true on-court choke of the year, as Likhovtseva somehow squandered a 6-0 lead in the 3rd set tie-break.
----------------------------
3.Stanford SF - Venus Williams def. Patty Schnyder
...2-6/7-6/6-2. Schnyder served at 6-5, 40-0 in the 2nd. She thought she had the match-winning ace and ran to the net to celebrate, but then heard the call of "fault." She never recovered from the shock, quickly falling down 5-0 in the tie-break and losing the set. In the end, Schnyder had blown five -- count 'em, five -- match points.
----------------------------



==UPSETS OF THE YEAR==
1.Wimbledon 3rd - Jill Craybas def. Serena Williams
...6-3/7-6. Angela Haynes almost got the honor earlier at SW19 against Serena, but the hobbled Williams sister escaped with a win. She couldn't do the same against the vet Craybas, teetering and finally falling out of the fortnight.
----------------------------
2.Roland Garros 3rd - Sesil Karatantcheva def. Venus Williams
...6-3/1-6/6-1. Venus said she'd never seen or even heard of the 2004 junior champ who sent her packing from Paris. She should have known the 15-year old but, then again, it's just so Venus for her to say that she didn't.
----------------------------
3.San Diego QF - Shuai Peng def. Kim Clijsters
...6-4/6-4. Clijsters' only loss on North American hardcourts, and her first hardcourt loss of any kind since the final of the 2003 U.S. Open.
----------------------------

============================

**2005 BACKSPIN LISTS**

**BACKSPIN 2005 PLAYERS-OF-THE-MONTHS**
JANUARY: Serena Williams
FEBRUARY: Maria Sharapova
MARCH: Kim Clijsters
Q1--Serena Williams
APRIL: Justine Henin-Hardenne
MAY: Justine Henin-Hardenne
Q2/Clay--Justine Henin-Hardenne
JUNE: Venus Williams
Q2/Grass--Venus Williams
JULY: Kim Clijsters
AUGUST/U.S.: Kim Clijsters
Q3--Kim Clijsters
SEPTEMBER: Elena Dementieva
OCTOBER: Lindsay Davenport
NOVEMBER: Amelie Mauresmo
Q4--Lindsay Davenport


**MOST WEEKLY BACKSPIN AWARDS**
-PLAYER-
9...Kim Clijsters
5...Lindsay Davenport
4...Justine Henin-Hardenne
4...Amelie Mauresmo
3...Maria Sharapova
3...Elena Dementieva
2...Venus Williams
2...Anastasia Myskina
-RISER-
7...Nadia Petrova
5...Anna-Lena Groenefeld
5...Elena Dementieva
5...Francesca Schiavone
4...Patty Schnyder
4...Daniela Hantuchova
4...Jelena Jankovic
3...Anabel Medina-Garrigues
-SURPRISE-
4...Samantha Stosur
3...Alona Bondarenko
3...Nuria Llagostera-Vives
-VETERAN-
11..Lindsay Davenport
8...Mary Pierce
7...Conchita Martinez
4...Virginia Ruano-Pascual
4...Elena Likhovtseva
4...Lisa Raymond
4...Maggie Maleeva
-FRESH FACE-
6...Nicole Vaidisova
6...Ana Ivanovic
4...Sania Mirza
4...Maria Kirilenko
4...Lucie Safarova
4...Viktoria Azarenka
-DOWN-
8...Vera Zvonareva
7...Anastasia Myskina
5...Svetlana Kuznetsova
5...Venus Williams
4...Serena Williams


==TOP 20 PLAYERS - BY AGE**
30...Mary Pierce
30...Elena Likhovtseva
29...Lindsay Davenport
27...Patty Schnyder
26...Nathalie Dechy
26...Amelie Mauresmo
25...Venus Williams
25...Francesca Schiavone
24...Anastasia Myskina
24...Serena Williams
24...Elena Dementieva
23...Justine Henin-Hardenne
23...Nadia Petrova
22...Daniela Hantuchova
22...Kim Clijsters
20...Svetlana Kuznetsova
19...Dinara Safina
18...Maria Sharapova
18...Ana Ivanvoic
16...Nicole Vaidisova

==TOP 20 - BY COUNTRY==
7...Russia
3...USA
3...France
2...Belgium
1...Switzerland
1...Italy
1...Czech Republic
1...Serbia & Montenegro
1...Slovak Republic

==TOP 100 - BY COUNTRY==
15...Russia
10...USA
8....France
7....Czech Republic
7....Italy
6....Spain
5....Japan
3....China
3....Germany
3....Bulgaria
2....Argentina
2....Australia
2....Belgium
2....Colombia
2....Croatia
2....Israel
2....Serbia & Montenegro
2....Slovak Republic
2....Switzerland
1....Austria
1....Estonia
1....Finland
1....Greece
1....Hungary
1....India
1....Korea
1....Madagascar
1....Netherlands
1....Poland
1....Puerto Rico
1....Slovenia
1....Sweden
1....Ukraine
1....Venezuela

==TOP 20 PLAYERS - CAREER TITLES==
51...Lindsay Davenport
33...Venus Williams
30...Kim Clijsters
26...Serena Williams
23...Justine Henin-Hardenne
19...Amelie Mauresmo
18...Mary Pierce
10...Anastasia Myskina
10...Patty Schnyder
10...Maria Sharapova
5....Svetlana Kuznetsova
5....Nicole Vaidisova
4....Elena Dementieva
4....Dinara Safina
3....Elena Likhovtseva
1....Nathalie Dechy
1....Daniela Hantuchova
1....Ana Ivanovic
1....Nadia Petrova
0....Francesca Schiavone


**RUSSIANS IN TOP 100**
#4 Maria Sharapova
#8 Elena Dementieva
#9 Nadia Petrova
#14 Anastasia Myskina
#17 Elena Likhovtseva
#18 Svetlana Kuznetsova
#20 Dinara Safina
#25 Maria Kirilenko
#33 Anna Chakvetadze
#39 Vera Dushevina
#42 Vera Zvonareva
#53 Evgenia Linetskaya
#62 Elena Bovina
#69 Ekaterina Bychkova
#89 Tatiana Panova

**AMERICANS IN TOP 100**
#1 Lindsay Davenport
#10 Venus Williams
#11 Serena Williams
#47 Jill Craybas
#55 Amy Frazier
#61 Laura Granville
#66 Meghann Shaughnessy
#74 Mashona Washington
#75 Jamea Jackson
#76 Lisa Raymond

**CHINESE IN TOP 100**
#37 Shuai Peng
#44 Jie Zheng
#57 Na Li

**CZECHS IN TOP 100**
#15 Nicole Vaidisova
#26 Kveta Peschke
#36 Klara Koukalova
#50 Lucie Safarova
#54 Iveta Benesova
#78 Zuzana Ondraskova
#98 Hana Sromova

==AMERICAS TOP 10==
#1 Lindsay Davenport (USA)
#10 Venus Williams (USA)
#11 Serena Williams (USA)
#27 Gisela Dulko (ARG)
#47 Jill Craybas (USA)
#55 Amy Frazier (USA)
#56 Mariana Diaz-Oliva (ARG)
#59 Catalina Castano (COL)
#61 Laura Granville (USA)
#63 Maria Vento-Kabchi (VEN)

==EUROPEAN TOP 10==
#2 Kim Clijsters (BEL)
#3 Amelie Mauresmo (FRA)
#4 Maria Sharapova (RUS)
#5 Mary Pierce (FRA)
#6 Justine Henin-Hardenne (BEL)
#7 Patty Schnyder (SUI)
#8 Elena Dementieva (RUS)
#9 Nadia Petrova (RUS)
#12 Nathalie Dechy (FRA)
#13 Francesca Schiavone (ITA)

==ASIA/PACIFIC TOP 10==
#29 Alicia Molik (AUS)
#30 Ai Sugiyama (JAP)
#31 Sania Mirza (IND)
#37 Shuai Peng (CHN)
#38 Shinobu Asagoe (JAP)
#44 Jie Zheng (CHN)
#46 Samantha Stosur (AUS)
#48 Akiko Morigami (JAP)
#57 Na Li (CHN)
#71 Aiko Nakamura (JAP)

=="REST OF THE WORLD" IN TOP 300==
#43 Anna Smashnova (ISR)
#45 Shahar Peer (ISR)
#68 Dally Randriantefy (MAD)
#87 Kristina Brandi (PUR)
#134 Tzipora Obziler (ISR)
#157 Vilmarie Castellvi (PUR)
#159 Nathalie Grandin (RSA)
#170 Selima Sfar (TUN)
#174 Cara Black (ZIM)
#227 Yevgenia Savransky (ISR)
#234 Chanelle Scheepers (RSA)
#300 Surina De Beer (RSA)


**2005 RANKING JUMPS - #1-20**
[end of '04 to end of '05]
+81 Ana Ivanovic (#97 to #16)
+62 Nicole Vaidisova (#77 to #15)
+24 Mary Pierce (#29 to #5)
+24 Dinara Safina (#44 to #20)
+20 Kim Clijsters (#22 to #2)

**2005 RANKING JUMPS - #21-50**
[end of '04 to end of '05]
+175 Sania Mirza (#206 to #31)
+138 Shahar Peer (#183 to #45)
+135 Lucie Safarova (#185 to #50)
+92 Sesil Karatantcheva (#127 to #35)
+90 Kveta Peschke (#116 to #26)
+86 Maria Kirilenko (#111 to #25)
+74 Roberta Vinci (#115 to #41)
+59 Katarina Srebotnik (#87 to #28)
+54 Anna-Lena Groenefeld (#75 to #21)
+51 Anna Chakvetadze (#84 to #33)

**2004 TOP 20 - RANKING FALLS**
[end of '04 to end of '05]
OUT - Jennifer Capriati (#10 to DNP)
OUT - Silvia Farina Elia (#20 to retired)
-216 Paola Suarez (#16 to #232)
-47 Elena Bovina (#15 to #62)
-47 Karolina Sprem (#18 to #65)
-31 Vera Zvonareva (#11 to #42)
-16 Alicia Molik (#13 to #29)
-13 Svetlana Kuznetsova (#5 to #18)
-12 Ai Sugiyama (#17 to #30)
-11 Anastasia Myskina (#3 to #14)


All for now.

============================

Next week: WTA Yearbook & the 2005/4Q Quiz

2 Comments:

Anonymous Andrew said...

Thanks for your insightful and entertaining analysis -always a good read. As a South African, I would like to see more comment on the great achievements of Cara Black from our neighbouring country, Zimbabwe. Her doubles achievements have been amazing, and I guess if doubles had more profile, she would be higher up the Player of the Year.

Also, I think your Rest Of The World top 5 can be revised. First of all, it should be an Africa/Middle East top 5, as that is the rest of the world when you take out the other regions covered. You have two Puerto Ricans in the list, and they would definitely see themselves as Americans. So I would take them out and replace with Tzipora Obziler ISR (#134) and Natalie Grandin RSA (#159)-got to get a South African in there somewhere!

Otherwise, great lists and info

Thu Nov 17, 06:35:00 AM EST  
Blogger Todd Spiker said...

In previous years, I actually did label that category either "Middle East/Africa" or "Middle East/Africa/Indian Ocean." It sounded a little wordy, so I used "ROW" this time. Also, I felt like I would be slighting Kristina Brandi at #87, who wouldn't have made it in the Americas list.

Funny, I actually originally made the list a ROW Top 10 because I wanted to make sure I got Cara Black (#174) in there, but then ended up cutting it off at Top 5. I went ahead and made the list a Top 10+1 (all in Top 300), getting Black, Grandin, Chanelle Scheepers & Surina De Beer in there, too. :)

If Black had won the WTA Championships (as I'd picked) w/ Stubbs, I might have had her at #6 or #7 (or at least said something more about her on the written-out POY list in the Week 45 Backspin), though it'd have been hard to raise her past Sharapova and Mauresmo. As it was, Stosur/Raymond won and Stosur almost caught Black for the #1 ranking.

With her #1 ranking and so many titles with different players in '05, I'll surely have some Cara Black entries in next week's WTA Yearbook, though. :)

Thanks for reading. :)

Thu Nov 17, 09:27:00 AM EST  

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