Sunday, November 27, 2005

2005 WTA Yearbook

...overstuffed for your protection.

==STUDENT COUNCIL==

CLASS PRESIDENT: Kim Clijsters
PRESIDENTIAL STAND-IN: Lindsay Davenport
VICE-PRESIDENT: Justine Henin-Hardenne (w/ doctor's permission slip)
CO-VALEDICTORIANS: Venus & Serena Williams
SALUTATORIAN: Amelie Mauresmo
CLASS TREASURER: Maria Sharapova
FACULTY/STUDENT BODY LIAISON: Anna-Lena Groenefeld



==FACULTY==

CAMPUS DEAN (back from sabbatical): Mary Pierce
GUIDANCE COUNSELOR: Martina Navratilova
TENURED PROFESSOR (in absentia): Jennifer Capriati
(MIS)COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR (in training): Sania Mirza
GRADUATION MISTRESS OF CEREMONIES: Martina Hingis (in New York only)
COMMENCEMENT KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Steffi Graf (in Houston only)
YEARBOOK PHOTOGRAPHER: Anna Kournikova (in Sacramento only)



==DEPARTMENT HEADS==

BUSINESS: Maria Sharapova
ENGLISH (as a foreign language): Sesil Karatantcheva
FRENCH (as a third language in France): Nathalie Dechy
DRAMATIC ARTS: Serena Williams
(IM)POLITICAL SCIENCE: Patty Schnyder
PSYCHOLOGY (of winning): Nadia Petrova
(In Need of) PSYCHIATRY: Jelena Dokic
SCIENCE (of working well w/ others): Cara Black
MEDICINE (outgoing chairwoman): Justine Henin-Hardenne
MEDICINE (newly appointed): Alicia Molik
NUTRITION/HEALTH: Daniela Hantuchova
WORLD RELIGIONS (and burnings in effigy): Sania Mirza
SOCIAL WORK: Chanda Rubin
HISTORY: Silvia Farina Elia & Maggie Maleeva



==JR/SR PROM COMMITTEE==

PROM QUEEN: Nicole Vaidisova
QUEEN'S COURT: Maria Kirilenko, Ana Ivanovic, Sania Mirza, Anna-Lena Groenefeld, Anna Chakvetadze, Tatiana Golovin, Lucie Safarova, Michaella Krajicek, Sesil Karatantcheva, Shahar Peer

LADY(NOVA)-in-WAITING: Maria Kirilenko
PARTY-CRASHER: Sesil Karatantcheva
DECORATING COMMITTEE: Venus & Serena Williams
(TITLE-LESS) WALLFLOWER: Francesca Schiavone
HEARTBREAKER: Jelena Dokic
RULEBREAKER: Sania Mirza
SOPHOMORE SLUMPER: Tatiana Golovin

JR.QUEEN: Viktoria Azarenka
JR.QUEEN'S COURT: Agnes Szavay, Raluca-Ioana Olaru, Timea Bacsinszky, Alisa Kleybanova, Sanja Ancic, Tamira Paszek, Agnieszka Radwanska, Alexa Glatch, Marina Erakovic



==CLASS FAVORITES==

MOST WELL-LIKED: Lindsay Davenport
SEXIEST: Gisela-Maria Sharavaidilenkovic (what a woman!...or 5)
MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED: Nicole Vaidisova

PERSONALITY (w/ a smile): Sesil Karatantcheva
PERSONALITY (w/ t-shirts & nose-rings): Sania Mirza

LOUDEST (on-court): Maria Sharapova
LOUDEST (off-court): Sesil Karatantcheva
LOUDEST (at net): Patty Schnyder
BEST-SMELLING (off-court): Maria Sharapova's own perfume

MOST DANGEROUS (at court-side): Nicole Vaidisova
LEAST DANGEROUS (no-show): Jelena Dokic

QUIETEST (in Top 10): Nadia Petrova
QUIETEST (in Top 20): Nathalie Dechy
QUIETEST (in Top 25): Flavia Pennetta

MOST TALENTED (over 20): Serena Williams
MOST TALENTED (under 20): Nicole Vaidisova
MOST TALENTED (over 30): Mary Pierce
MOST TALENTED (over 40): Martina Navratilova



==RUSSIAN ROUND TABLE==

LEADING LADY: Maria Sharapova
UNDERSTUDY: Maria Kirilenko
SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Elena Dementieva
NEXT BIG THING?: Anna Chakvetadze
NOT NEXT BIG THING: Vera Zvonareva
NO LONGER WAITING IMPATIENTLY: Nadia Petrova
OVERTHROWN CHAMPIONS: Anastasia Myskina & Svetlana Kuznetsova
M.I.A.: Elena Bovina
VETERAN: Elena Likhovtseva
SISTER: Dinara Safina
NAME-CHANGER: Vera Douchevina/Dushevina
(THANKFULLY) NOT CHANGING NAME: Ekaterina Bychkova
NextGen HORDETTES: Evgenia Linetskaya, Alisa Kleybanova, Elena Tchalova



==MAIDEN/COOKIE SQUARE TABLE==

MAIDEN STAR: Nicole Vaidisova
COOKIE MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED: Shuai Peng
MOST SURPRISING: Zi Yan
VETERAN: Kveta Peschke
UNDERACHIEVER: Na Li
OVERACHIEVER: Jie Zheng
UNKNOWN ACHIEVER: Meng Yuan
OVERDUE CHAMPION: Klara Koukalova
STILL WAITING TO BE A CHAMPION: Shuai Peng
STILL WAITING (TO REACH THE "NEXT LEVEL"): Iveta Benesova
ITF/WTA DUAL THREAT: Lucie Safarova
ITF STAR: Petra Cetkovska
2006 BREAKTHROUGHS: Tiantian Sun & Zuzana Ondraskova



==ODDS & ENDS==

HARDCOURT PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Kim Clijsters
CLAYCOURT PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Justine Henin-Hardenne
GRASSCOURT PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Venus Williams
INDOOR PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Mary Pierce
FED CUP PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Elena Dementieva

BEST QUOTE: "People who never care that they lose have never won so much." (Nicole Vaidisova)
BEST/WORST QUOTE: "She started playing really bad, and it totally threw me off. Next thing I knew I was playing as bad as she was." (Venus Williams)

MOST RESONATING/PROPHETIC QUOTE: "She was afraid to win the match." (Justine Henin-Hardenne, on Svetlana Kuznetsova after their 4th Rd. match at Roland Garros)
MOST MIND OF MYSKINA-esque QUOTE: "I played really well that first set, but then I got a little bored. I was thinking, 'When is this match going to finish?,' and the next thing I knew I was down four-love." (Anastasia Myskina)
MOST IN-CHARACTER QUOTE: "Today something didn't feel right. I guess it's the puberty's fault." (Sesil Karatantcheva)

GRACELESS WINNER: Venus Williams at Wimbledon
GRACELESS LOSER: Venus Williams...always

EMPIRE MAKER (Agassi/Capriati era): Nick Bollettieri
EMPIRE MAKER (Sharapova era): Nick Bollettieri
EMPIRE MAKER (Vaidisova era): Nick Bollettieri

BEST LEADER (stand-in): Elena Dementieva, for Myskina, in Fed Cup
BEST FOLLOWER (of Martina N.): Anna-Lena Groenefeld
BEST FOLOWERS (of Cara Black): Liezel Huber, Rennae Stubbs, Els Callens

BATTLE WON: Clijsters vs. slam jitters
BATTLE STILL BEING WAGED: Mauresmo vs. slam jitters

MOST UNKNOWN CHAMPION: Zi Yan (at #163, won Guangzhou)
MOST UNKNOWN RUNNER-UP: Akgul Amanmuradova (at #257, lost Tashkent)
MOST UNKNOWN (by Venus): Sesil Karatantcheva

BEST EYE FOR TALENT: Martina Navratilova, doubles partner of Kuznetsova, as well as Groenefeld
WORST EYE FOR TALENT: Backspin picks Kuznetsova to finish at #1
WORST BOSS WITH TALENT: Kim Clijsters

MOST PIERCED (off-court): Sania Mirza
MOST PIERCED (on-court): Roland Garros/US Open RU Mary Pierce

MEANT EVERYTHING THEN: Venus Williams wins Wimbledon
MEANS NOTHING NOW: Amelie Mauresmo wins WTA Championships
MIGHT MEAN EVERYTHING IN 2006: Nicole Vaidisova's 3-title, 18-match post-US Open streak

MOST ENCOURAGING: Sania Mirza working with Tony Roche
MOST DISCOURAGING: Jelena Dokic's disapperance

MOST SOULFUL SLAM PERFORMANCE: Serena Williams in Melbourne
MOST SOUL-LESS SLAM PERFORMANCE: Serena Williams at SW19

MOST UNEXPECTED NEAR-UPSET: Angela Haynes vs. Serena Williams, Wimbledon 1st Rd.
MOST UNSHOCKING HUGE UPSET: Jill Craybas vs. Serena Williams, Wimbledon 3rd Rd.

MOST DISRESPECTFUL TO HER ELDER: Claudine Schaul d. Martina Navratilova, on grass
MOST DISRESPECTFUL TO HER ELDER (twice): Martina Hingis d. Martina Navratilova during WTT play, in their first-ever singles encounters
ELDER REVOLUTIONARIES: Elena Likhovtseva (Russian) & Kveta Peschke (Czech)

"DOWNTURN" THAT WASN'T: Maria Sharapova, three-time 2005 slam semifinalist
DOWNTURN THAT WAS: Svetlana Kuznetsova

6-0: 3rd set TB lead blown by Elena Likhovtseva in Moscow QF vs. Mary Pierce
6-0/6-0: Lindsay Davenport def. Maria Sharapova in Indian Wells SF

LITTLE SISTER (slam winner): Serena Williams
LITTLE SISTER (WTA title winner): Dinara Safina
LITTLE SISTER (ITF title winner): Sanja Ancic

MOST SIMILAR GAMES: Jelena Dokic & Sania Mirza
MOST BURNED IN EFFIGY: Sania Mirza
MOST BURNED-OUT?: Jelena Dokic

BEST START BY AUSSIE: Samantha Stosur
BEST AUSSIE AT AUSSIE OPEN: Alicia Molik
BEST FINISH BY AUSSIE: Samantha Stosur

MOST PLAYED-OUT (in Top 100): Jill Craybas, Hana Sromova & Stephanie Foretz (30 tournaments each)
LEAST PLAYED (in Top 100): Elena Bovina (8 tournaments), Justine Henin-Hardenne (9 tournaments)

BEST U.S. OPEN SHOW: Got Mirza?
WORST U.S. OPEN SHOW: Venus vs. Serena

IT HAPPENED IN 2005: three of four slam winners came back from match point down to win the title
IT DIDN'T HAPPEN in 2005: world #1 played world #2 in a singles match

DEFEATED HINGIS IN PATTAYA 1st RD.: Marlene Weingartner (Hingis' only match)
DEFEATED HINGIS IN WTT PLAY: Meghann Shaughnessy (Hingis' only loss)

SINCE LAST CONCHITA MARTINEZ TITLE: 2000 Berlin (before Pattaya 2005)
SINCE FIRST CONCHITA MARTINEZ TITLE: 17 years, at Sofia in 1988... before Vaidisova was even born

BIZARRO MATCH OF THE YEAR: Canberra Final - Ana Ivanovic (Q) def. Melinda Czink (LL)... Ivanovic had already played and defeated Czink in the 3rd round of qualifying
GENDER-BENDING MATCH OF THE YEAR: WTT - Brian Vahaly def. Meghann Shaughnessy

QUELLED THE QUEEN IN 2004: cytomegalovirus
STOPPED THE STEAMER IN 2005: vestibular neuronitis



==ALL-BACKSPIN TEAMS==

*ALL-VENUS EXCUSES*
Pulled Stomach Muscle
Blister on Palm
Fatigue/Exhaustion
Opponent Played Too Badly
Mental Letdown
Clay-to-Grass Transition
Heavy Balls (courtesy of Serena)
Media/Fan Criticism (courtesy of Richard)

*CHINESE GANG OF FIVE*
Shuai Peng
Jie Zheng
Na Li
Zi Yan
Tiantian Sun

*ALL-FASHION POLICE*
Mirza's slogan t-shirts
Serena's $40,000 "Dream Catcher" earrings
JHH & Petrova's identical RG SF outfits
Topless Ivanovic

*MIRZA T-SHIRT SLOGANS*
"Well behaved women rarely make history."
"You can either agree with me, or be wrong."
"I'm cute? No (shit)!"

*2005 NAME-CHANGERS*
"Karatancheva" to "Karatantcheva"
"Tchakvetadze" to "Chakvetadze"
"Douchevina" to "Dushevina"
"Pistolesi" to "Smashnova"
"Beltrame" to "Bremond"
"Alyona Bondarenko" to "Alona Bondarenko"
"Katerina Bondarenko" to "Kateryna Bondarenko"

*ALL-MYSTERY TEAM*
Serena's knee/ankle
Dokic's whereabouts
Molik's health
Zvonareva's emotional state
Clijsters' relationship with ex-coach
Davenport's next slam title

*ALL-UGLY TEAM*
Dementieva's serve
Schnyder's paranoia
Vaidisova's temper
USTA's U.S. Open Series nicknames
Claude Eerdeken's drug test accusations
Dokic's unprofessionalism
Clijsters' employee payment plan
Weekly tournament injury lists
Venus' excuses
Kolkata Stadium's falling debris
Clijsters' tries for #1 at Filderstadt and L.A.
Seles' career close
1st Sunday night at U.S. Open: Clijsters vs. Vento-Kabchi (not Sharapova/Mirza or Venus/Serena)

*ALL-BEAUTIFUL TEAM*
Dementieva's legs & groundstrokes
Karatantcheva quotebook
Henin-Hardenne's backhand
Serena's grit & soul in Oz
Pierce's forehand
Groenefeld's serve
Maria Kirilenko
Vaidisova's desire
Oracene "No-Nonsense" Price

*ALL-CATFIGHT*
Schnyder vs. Henin-Hardenne
Dementieva vs. Pierce
Dementieva vs. Kuznetsova
Kuznetsova vs. Claude Eerdekens
Mirza vs. Muslim clerics

*ALL-SISTERS*
The Williamses
The Bondarenkos
The Serra-Zanettis
The Clijsterses
The Klemenschits
The Rodionovas

*ALL-WONDER GIRL MIXED SLAMS*
2002 Australian Open
2005 Roland Garros
2001 Wimbledon
2005 U.S. Open

*ALL-OLD BACKSPIN NICKNAME TEAM*
"Punch-Sober"
"Le Petit Taureau"
"Queen Justine"

*ALL-NEW BACKSPIN NICKNAME TEAM*
"The Czech Maidens"
"Ferris"
"The Steamer"
"The Indian Princess"
"AnaIvo"
"Sneaky"
"Girl Friday"

*ALL-ROYAL BACKSPIN NICKNAME TEAM*
"Czarina" Myskina
"The Scarlett Empress"
"The Contessova"
"The Indian Princess"
"Queen B"

*ALL-STREAK TEAM*
Henin-Hardenne's 24-0 run on clay
Clijsters' 23-1 run on hardcourts
Vaidisova's 18-0 post-U.S. Open run
Smashnova's 11-0 career record in finals
Davenport's 24 consecutive games won in Indian Wells
Hingis' 25-1 combined record in WTT play

*ALL-ITF TEAM*
Kristina Barrois
Romina Oprandi
Petra Cetkovska
Sanja Ancic
Alisa Kleybanova

*ALL-COMEBACK TEAM*
Venus Williams
Kim Clijsters
Mary Pierce
Martina Hingis (WTT)
Ashley Harkleroad (ITF)

*ALL-RETIRED TEAM*
Silvia Farina Elia
Maggie Maleeva
Fabiola Zuluaga
Barbara Schett

*ALL-NOT RETIRED TEAM*
Martina Navratilova
Lindsay Davenport
Mary Pierce
Kim Clijsters
Conchita Martinez
Monica Seles (not yet)
Martina Hingis (well, sort of)

*ALL-SEASON SERIES*
Sharapova vs. S.Williams
Sharapova vs. Davenport
Dementieva vs. Pierce
Clijsters vs. Henin-Hardenne
Ivanovic vs. Czink (in Canberra)

*NAVRATILOVA SLAMS IN 2005*
Australian QF with Hantuchova
Australian SF with Mirnyi
Roland Garros 1st Rd. with Sanchez Vicario
Roland Garros RU with Paes
Wimbledon SF with Groenefeld
Wimbledon SF with M.Bryan
U.S. Open SF with Groenefeld
U.S. Open QF with Paes

*ALL-FIRSTS TEAM*
Tokyo (Sharapova's first Tier I)
Hyderabad (India's first champion -Mirza)
Linz (Petrova's first title)
Beijing (Kirilenko's breakthrough)
U.S. Open (Clijsters' first slam)

*ALL-IMPROVED TEAM*
Kveta Peschke
Anabel Medina-Garrigues
Francesca Schiavone
Klara Koukalova
Katarina Srebotnik
Roberta Vinci
Nuria Llagostera-Vives
Mary Pierce's fitness
Kim Clijsters' nerves
Daniela Hantuchova's future
Samantha Stosur's versatility



==BACKSPIN'S FAVORITE BACKSPINS==

1."An Indian Supernova?" (Week 6)
2."now for All. (The Backwards Column)" (Week 19)
3."Long Live the Queen" (Week 22/Roland Garros)
4."Le Petit Taureau est de Retour" (Week 15)
5."Good Fortunes & Maiden Voyages" (IQ 7/8 Review)
6."Killer Kim Slays Her Albatross" (US Open Day 13)
7."If Only..." (Week 26/Wimbledon)
8."Melbourne's Soul Survivor" (Week 4/Australian)
9."1,000,000,000 Indian Fans Can't Be Wrong" (US Open Day 5)
10."The Wonderful, Horrible Serve of Elena Dementieva" (US Open Day 10)
HM-"Mama Mia, That's a Spicy Moonball" (US Open Day 2)


==2006 STATS 0-to-10==

10...most titles by a Russian woman (Sharapova/Myskina)
----------------------------
9...WTA titles won by Russians in 2005, down from 15 in '04 and 11 in '03
----------------------------
8...consecutive years Venus Williams has won at least one title, the longest streak on tour
----------------------------
7...slam titles won by Serena Williams in her career, the most by an active player on tour
----------------------------
6...consecutive years Kim Clijsters has won at least two titles, the longest streak on tour
----------------------------
5...titles won by doubles team of Lisa Raymond/Samantha Stosur, the most on tour in '05
----------------------------
4...2005 singles titlists over 30 years of age, as well as under 17
----------------------------
3...number of '05 slam winners who came back from match point down to win the title
----------------------------
2...wins over the Williamses by Silvia Farina Elia in 2005, making her the sixth player to record victories over both sisters in a single season since 2000 (the other five, though, were either former or current #1-ranked players)
----------------------------
1...Cara Black's year-end doubles ranking, the first Zimbabwe woman to hold the top ranking and the 20th doubles #1 in WTA history
----------------------------
0...#1 women's seeds to win the title in the last seven slams
----------------------------


==ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS...==

1.less controversy for Sania Mirza
2.a broken racquet from Nicole Vaidisova
3.for Venus to show an opponent (other than Serena) some respect
4.a doubles presence on tour from Martina Hingis
5.a Lyndrea Price CD
6.Jelena Dokic to show up in Australia
7.a turkey-flavored milkbone for Serena's dog Jackie
8.a rebuilt House of Myskina
9.a healthy Queen Justine
10.instant replay


BEST SESIL QUOTE TO LEAVE ON: "Come on... who can resist me?"


Res Ipsa Loquitur. All for now.

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OTHER 2005 BACKSPIN YEAR-END EDITIONS: 2005 WTA Quiz, WTA Backspin Awards, ATP Backspin Awards

PAST YEARBOOKS: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004.

And remember to keep an eye out on Tennisrulz.com for the 2005 Reader Award winners. As for Backspin... it'll return in the final two weeks of December with the first of the 2006 Intriguing Questions!!

3 Comments:

Blogger Noelle De Guzman said...

Wow! Simply hilarious. I think I'll mention both the WTA Backspin Yearbook and the ATP Backspin Awards in my tennis blog. :D

Tue Nov 29, 02:21:00 AM EST  
Blogger thesupernova said...

Another wickedly awesome column! The next 4 weeks are going to be long and lonely:( Has the bizarro final ever happened before?

Tue Nov 29, 09:58:00 AM EST  
Blogger Todd Spiker said...

Nope. That was the first time in WTA history that a final was contested between a qualifier and a "lucky loser" she had defeated in qualifying.

Tue Nov 29, 03:25:00 PM EST  

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