Saturday, November 11, 2006

WTA Awards

Nearly forty-five full weeks of action, 117 editions (and counting) of WTA Backspin, and over 375 weekly player awards later... it's come to this.


1. Nadia Petrova
2. Ana Ivanovic
3. Jelena Jankovic
4. Dinara Safina
5. Tatiana Golovin
6. Marion Bartoli
7. Samantha Stosur
8. Vera Zvonareva
9. Anna-Lena Groenefeld
10. Alona Bondarenko
11. Jie Zheng
12. Na Li
13. Daniela Hantuchova
14. Anabel Medina-Garrigues
15. Tiantian Sun
16. Kararina Srebotnik
17. Marta Domachowska
18. Aiko Nakamura
19. Elena Vesnina
20. Mara Santangelo
21. Jelena Kostanic
22. Sofia Arvidsson
23. Roberta Vinci
24. Kaia Kanepi
25. Julia Vakulenko
HM- Martina Muller


1. Nicole Vaidisova
2. Anna Chakvetadze
3. Shahar Peer
4. Olga Poutchkova
5. Victoria Azarenka
6. Michaella Krajicek
7. Jamea Jackson
8. Lucie Safarova
9. Vania King
10. Tszvetana Pironkova
11. Agnieszka Radwanska
12. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
13. Tamira Paszek
14. Aravane Rezai
15. Romina Oprandi
16. Caroline Wozniacki
17. Jarmila Gajdosova
18. Viktoriya Kutuzova
19. Timea Bacsinszky
20. Anna Tatishvili
21. Yung-Jan Chan
22. Agnes Szavay
23. Aleksandra Wozniak
24. Marina Erakovic
25. Raluca Olaru
HM- Lauren Albanese


1. Severine Bremond
2. Tszvetana Pironkova
3. Mara Santangelo
4. Kaia Kanepi
5. Vania King
6. Shenay Perry
7. Bethanie Mattek
8. Sybille Bammer
9. Iroda Tulyaganova
10. Maria Elena Camerin
11. Angelique Kerber
12. Lourdes Dominguez Lino
13. Stephanie Dubois
14. Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez
15. Maret Ani
16. Karin Knapp
17. Marie Eve Pelletier
18. Anne Schaefer
19. Tzipora Obziler
20. Urszula Radwanska
HM- Ivana Lisjak


1. Martina Hingis
2. Lisa Raymond
3. Francesca Schiavone
4. Meghann Shaughnessy
5. Patty Schnyder
6. Martina Navratilova
7. Cara Black/Rennae Stubbs
8. Anna Smashnova
9. Severine Bremond
10. Virginia Ruano-Pascual
11. Paola Suarez
12. Kveta Peschke
13. Eleni Daniilidou
14. Ai Sugiyama
15. Iroda Tulyaganova
16. Jill Craybas
17. Tamarine Tanasugarn
18. Brenda Schultz-McCarthy
19. Meilen Tu
20. Tzipora Obziler
HM- Lilia Osterloh


1t. Venus Williams
1t. Serena Williams
3. Sesil Karatantcheva
4. Mary Pierce
5. Lindsay Davenport
6. Anastasia Myskina
7. Gisela Dulko
8. Sania Mirza
9. Maria Kirilenko
10. Shuai Peng
HM- Jelena Dokic


1. After three years of retirement, Martina Hingis returns to the tour and becomes a Top 10 player.
2. Wimbledon 2nd - V.Williams d. Lisa Raymond
....Venus overcomes 7-6/5-2 deficit in early rounds of Wimbledon a year after winning the title.
3. Martina Navratilova plays in Prague event in her first visit to her native Czech Republic in 20 years
4. Roland Garros 1st - Sharapova d. Washington
....with the "help" of a few pigeons who invaded the court at a crucial moment, Sharapova climbs out of a 2-5 3rd set hole.
5. Justine Henin-Hardenne, in her first event after the Melbourne retirement, wins the Dubai title
HM- In Zurich, Daniela Hantuchova reaches her first Tier I final since winning Indian Wells in 2002.
HM- Alona Bondarenko survives being match point down in the Luxembourg QF vs. Kveta Peschke, then wins her first career tour title the next day against Francesca Schiavone


1. Birmingham SF - Jackson d. Sharapova
....6-4/6-4. Sharapova's 25-match grass winning streak comes to an unceremonious halt.

2. Australian Open 1st - Pironkova d. V.Williams
....2-6/6-0/9-7. Sesil was nowhere to be found, but Venus still found a way to lose to a Bulgarian teenager early in a slam. Go figure.
3. Miami 2nd - Craybas d. Clijsters
....7-5/3-6/7-5. Last year, Craybas knocked off Serena at Wimbledon.
4. Roland Garros 4th - Vaidisova d. Mauresmo
....6-7/6-1/6-2. The Dynamova is born.
5. Warsaw 1st - A.Radwanska d. Myskina
....6-4/4-6/6-4. At the time, this was a "who???" situation, but Radwanska proved mighty adept at upsetting big-name players down the stretch. The Czarina did avoid the same fate vs. Agnieszka's little sister Urszula a short time later, though.
6. Tokyo SF - Hingis d. Sharapova
....6-3/6-1. This win was the statement that truly said that Hingis was back, even if she DID only win four more matches against Top 10ers the rest of the season.
7. Montreal 2nd - Dubois d. Clijsters
....1-6/3-2 ret. Local girl makes good, thanks in large part to (to paraphrase Venus) Kim's largesse.
8. Fed Cup 1st Rd. - Italy d. France 4-1
....Schiavone's upset of Mauresmo set the stage for the Noodles' romp through the field to their eventual FC title.
9. Fed Cup 1st Rd. (USA/GER) - Jackson d. Groenefeld
....6-2/3-6/7-5. Jamea Jackson sent up a flair of recognition with this win, which keyed the Americanas' "upset" of Germany. It wouldn't be her last big win of the year (see #1).
10. Bali 1st - Poutchkova d. Ivanovic
....6-3/4-6/6-2. The Russian teen made a name for herself here, then went on to reach two finals in the 4th quarter.


1. US Open 3rd - Peer d. Schiavone
....Schiavone led 5-1 in the 3rd and failed to convert five match points. Her '06 Fed Cup exploits aside, this type of loss provides ample evidence for why she's still searching for singles title #1

2. Roland Garros 4th - Safina d. Sharapova
....the Supernova had to crash before she re-learned how to soar. She blew a 5-1 3rd set lead in probably the worst grand slam moment of her career.
3. US Open SF - Henin-Hardenne d. Jankovic
....Jankovic led 4-2 40/30 in the 2nd when trying to close out the match in straight sets. Then she argued a call, lost her concentration and dropped the last ten games of the match.
4. Kirsten Flipkens in the Fed Cup final
....everything she touched turned to stone in Belgium's failure to secure the title on home court. She lost to Schiavone, then blew a set lead on Santangelo, forcing an injured JHH onto the court for a deciding doubles match that her knee wouldn't let her finish.
5. Eastbourne QF - Kuznetsova d. Groenefeld
....sure, it happened on the grass rather than the hard courts that bedeviled Girl Friday in '06. But after a nice spring, ALG's squanders 3rd sets leads of 4-2 and 5-4 (and three match points), followed by a 1st Round exit at SW19, effectively began the downslide that engulfed the last half of her season.


1. Australian Open SF - Henin-Hardenne d. Sharapova
....4-6/6-1/6-4. A battle between the two strongest-willed players on tour, and a nice first half of a pair of big-event bookends where JHH upset Sharapova in a SF (along with her straight sets SF win over the previously-streaking Supernova in the YEC this weekend).
2. Amelia Island Doubles 1st - Pratt/Stewart d. Morariu/Stubbs
....7-6(5)/7-6(20). The 22-point tie-break was the longest in WTA history..
3. Berlin F - Petrova d. Henin-Hardenne
....4-6/6-4/7-5. No win better symbolized the zone Petrova found herself in on the clay during the spring than this one.



1. Sharapova is exquisite in the city, winning the U.S. Open
2. Mauresmo silences her critics, claiming Wimbledon five months after winning the Australian Open
3. Italy is surprise winner of its first Fed Cup title
4. Justine Henin-Hardenne reaches the finals of all four slams, the YEC and the Fed Cup
5. Nadia Petrova wins back-to-back titles in Amelia Island & Charleston.
6. Anna Chakvetadze shocks the field and wins Kremlin Cup title in Moscow
7. Svetlana Kuznetsova defeats three #1 players en route to claiming Miami title
8. Martina Navratilova ends her remarkable career by winning Tier I doubles title in Montreal, then Mixed Doubles crown at the US Open
9. Lisa Raymond & Samantha Stosur win four consecutive Tier I titles
10. Ana Ivanovic wins Montreal Tier I, and US Open Series title
----------------------------- week, the "Miss Backspin" contenders are lined up all in a row -- and this time it counts.

All for now.


....Revolving Doors
....Intriguing Answers: A Swiss Miss, a Near-Miss & a Big Hit
....How Smart We Were, How Dumb We Were
....Intriguing Answers: Maria the Bear
....Intriguing Answers: A Tale of Two Champions

....2006 Miss Backspin
....2006 WTA Yearbook


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