Thursday, December 08, 2005

2005 Backspin Archives

Dec.24 - "2005 Intriguing Question #10" (Mauresmo)
Dec.24 - "2005 Intriguing Question #9" (Hantuchova/Dokic)
Dec.27 - "2005 Intriguing Questions #7-8" (Chinese/Czechs)
Dec.29 - "2005 Intriguing Questions #5-6" (USA/Williamses/Either-Or)
Jan.1 - "2005 Intriguing Questions #3-4" (Henin-Hardenne/Clijsters/Pierre's Picks)
Jan.3 - "2005 Intriguing Questions #1-2" (Sharapova/Russians/Quicks Pick Predictions/Top 10 Picks)
Jan.10 - Wk.1 - "Act 1, Scene 1" (Dementieva)
Jan.17 - Wk.2 - "Waltzing Mathilda Oz Preview - Curse or Destiny?"
Jan.23 - Wk.3 - "Half-Way Down Under" (Australian 1r-3r)
Jan.31 - Wk.4 - "Melbourne's Soul Survivor" (S.Williams)
Feb.7 - Wk.5 - "Supernovian Acts" (Sharapova)
Feb.14 - Wk.6- "An Indian Supernova?" (Mirza)
Feb.21 - Wk.7 - "Random Spins on Week 7" (Mauresmo)
Feb.28 - Wk.8 - "A Very Russian Winter" (Sharapova)
Mar.7 - WK.9 - "Of Heavy Balls & Blisters" (Serena & Venus)
Mar.21 - Wk.10/11 - "A Waffle, with Bagels on the Side" (Clijsters)
Apr.4 - Wk.12/13 - "The Backspin Awards - 1Q Edition"
Apr.11 - Wk.14 - "Steady is How She Goes" (Davenport)
Apr.18 - Wk.15 - "Le Petit Taureau est de Retour" (Henin-Hardenne)
Apr.25 - Wk.16 - "Another Swiss Miss? (and other Fed Cup Afterthoughts)"
May 2 - Wk.17 - "Allez Justine! Allez April!" (Henin-Hardenne)
May 9 - Wk.18 - "Playing Favorite" (Henin-Hardenne)
May 16 - Wk.19 - "now for All." (The Backwards Column)
May 23 - WK.20 - "Witness to a Coronation... again?" (Roland Garros preview)
June 6 - Wk.21/22 - "Long Live the Queen" (Henin-Hardenne/claycourt)
June 13 - Wk.23 - "A Supernovian Harbinger?" (Sharapova)
June 20 - Wk.24 - "Another Astral Occurrence at SW19?" (Wimbledon preview)
June 26 - Wk.25 - "Courting a Collision?" (Mid-Wimbledon)
July 5 - Wk.26 - "If Only..." (V.Williams/grasscourt)
July 12 - Wk.27 - "Mid-Season Musings" (Fed Cup SF)
July 19 - Wk.28 - "The Calm Before the 'Real' Show" (Williams sisters)
July 26 - Wk.29 - "Sneaky Patty...and Peeing on the Couch" (Schnyder/"For Real")
Aug.1 - Wk.30 - "There She Goes Again" (Clijsters)
Aug.8 - Wk.31 - "Simply, a Woman Named Mary" (Pierce)
Aug.15 - Wk.32 - "A Supernova, Waiting" (Sharapova/Clijsters)
Aug.22 - Wk.33 - "Nice, Kim" (Clijsters)
Aug.28 - Wk.34 - "Sowing the (Open) Seeds of Doubt" (US Open preview/Backspin Blogtown)

...DAY 1: "Curses for the Contessova" (Kuznetsova)
...DAY 2: "Mama Mia, That's a Spicy Moonball" (Karatantcheva)
...DAY 3: "Nobody Puts Sania in the Corner" (Mirza)
...DAY 4: "Sugar & Spice...but not a very good night" (Karatantcheva)
...DAY 5: "1,000,000,000 Indian Fans Can't Be Wrong" (Mirza)
...DAY 6: "Got Mirza?"
...DAY 7: "Ain't Nothin' Like the Real Thing, Baby" (Sharapova)
...DAY 8: "Lapsing the Field" (Henin-Hardenne)
...DAY 9: "Ms.Mojo Rising" (Clijsters)
...DAY 10: "The Wonderful, Horrible Serve of Elena Dementieva"
...DAY 11: "Wonder Doubles" (Hantuchova)
...DAY 12: "The Edge of Night" (Clijsters)
...DAY 13: "Killer Kim Slays Her Albatross" (Clijsters)

Sept.13 - WK.35/36 - "Three Quarters Full" (3Q Awards)
Sept.19 - Wk.37 - "Twice as Nice" (Fed Cup Final)
Sept.26 - Wk.38 - "Tales of Two Russians" (Myskina/Kirilenko)
Oct.2 - "3rd Annual Tennisrulz Readers Awards Nominees"
Oct.3 - Wk.39 - "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet" (Clijsters)
Oct.10 - Wk.40 - "Killer Kim, It's All Up to You" (Race for #1)
Oct.17 - Wk.41 - "Vaidisova on the Verge"
Oct.20 - "2005 Review: A Funny Thing Happened On the Way..." (Mauresmo)
Oct.24 - Wk.42 - "Positional Geography" (Davenport)
Oct.27 - "2005 Review: 700 Bucks & a Zero Bar" (Hantuchova/Dokic)
Oct.31 - Wk.43 - "Naked No More" (Petrova)
Nov.6 - "2005 Review: Good Fortunes & Maiden Voyages" (Chinese/Czechs)
Nov.8 - Wk.44 - "How Smart We Were/How Dumb We Were" ('05 prediction review)
Nov.15 - Wk.45 - "Anatomy of a Killer" (2005 POY)
Nov.16 - "2005 WTA Backspin Awards"
Nov.28 - "2005 WTA Yearbook"
Dec.28 - "2005 Tennisrulz Award winners"

...there were some big happenings this season, and not just on tour, either. As Serena Williams, Justine Henin-Hardenne, Venus Williams and Kim Clijsters were winning slam titles, WTA Backspin was multiplying in 2005.

This year, there were more editions of Backspin than ever (70, counting the quarterly quizzes and Tennisrulz Awards, ticking the total number in the column's history up to 199... making the first edition of '06 the 200th WTA Backspin!), and there were more versions of Backspin, as well. More on that in moment.

The season opened with Tennisrulz head honcho Pierre Cantin and I inadvertantly putting a curse on '04 U.S. Open champ Svetlana Kuznetsova by both picking her to finish 2005 as the #1-ranked player in the world ("Intriguing Questions #1-2"column). She finished #18. Ouch.

The highlight of the early season for Backspin was the welcome "discovery" in February of Sania Mirza (Week 6- "An Indian Supernova?"), who'd go on to provide loads of fun -- on and off court -- all season long. Speaking of fun, or at least whimsy, Week 19 saw the very first "backwards" edition of Backspin, entitled, "now for All."

Come August, as the U.S. Open was about to start, the WTA Backspin column morphed into "Backspin Blogtown," as the still-Tennisrulz-associated blog version of "WTA Backspin" was joined by neighbors "ATP Backspin", "The Backspin Quiz Page", and "The Backspin Nickname Page". The "new era" was christened with the introduction of "The Daily Backspin," which included nighly coverage throughout the U.S. Open, a feature that will now be the norm with every grand slam. The 13-day stretch ended with Clijsters finally becoming a "killer" (US Open Day 13-"Killer Kim Slays Her Albatross").

The season's final stanza included the exciting breakthrough emergence of Nicole Vaidisova (Week 41-"Vaidisova on the Verge"), who might just be the "next big thing" on tour as she leads the Czech Maidens ("2005 Review: Good Fortunes & Maiden Voyages") back to prominence in '06 and beyond.

At season's end, the largest ever edition of the "WTA Yearbook" wrapped up an equally big year.

Stay tuned. 2006 might be even better. All for now.


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