Saturday, July 16, 2016

The La Petit Taureau Quiz

In honor of the Hall of Fame induction of Justine Henin, here it is: the long, long awaited (well, overdue, at least) La Petit Taureau Quiz.

So everyone put your thinking caps on. Yes, you too, Justine.

1. True or False? Henin spent more time at WTA singles #1 during the 2000's (2000-2009) than any other player.
2. What is noteworthy about Henin's debut WTA event in Antwerp in 1999?
a. she won her first match 6-0/6-0
b. she defeated a Top 10 player in the 1st Round
c. she won the tournament singles title
d. heavy, week-long rain forced the event to be cancelled
3. Who did Henin defeat in the final to win the 1997 Roland Garros girls singles title?
a. Kim Clijsters
b. Cara Black
c. Virginie Razzano
d. Elena Dementieva
4. Against which British player did Henin record her final match win in her last tournament, the 2011 Australian Open?
a. Elena Baltacha
b. Laura Robson
c. Anne Keothavong
d. Heather Watson
5. True or False? At the 2007 U.S. Open, Henin became the only woman to defeat both Venus and Serena Williams in singles in the same tournament for a second time in her career.
6. Henin's career-long match winning streak was stretched over two seasons in 2007-08. How many matches in a row did she win?
a. 34 matches
b. 33 matches
c. 32 matches
d. 31 matches
7. EXTRA POINTS QUESTION: Who ended the above streak?
8. Henin's 2004 2nd Round loss at Roland Garros to Tathiana Garbin is tied with one other result for the earliest exit in Paris by the women's #1 seed in the Open era. Which other player lost so early?
a. Serena Williams
b. Kim Clijsters
c. Ana Ivanovic
d. Caroline Wozniacki
9. How many season-ending Top 10 rankings did Henin collect during her career?
a. 10
b. 9
c. 8
d. 7
10. True or False? Both phases of Henin's career, in 2008 and 2011, ended with the Belgian suffering losses at the hands of a Russian.

1. True - All 117 weeks in which Henin was ranked #1 in the world took place during the 2000's, more weeks than any other woman during the decade.
2. c - Henin, 16, claimed the singles title at her debut WTA event in Antwerp in May 1999. Her first tour-level win came over Lubomira Bacheva (6-2/6-1), and she won the title while dropping just one set in five matches, taking the final by a 6-1/6-2 score over Sarah Pitkowski. She was the fifth of now six players who have won their debut WTA event: Tracy Austin (1977), Petra Langrova (1988), Mirjana Lucic (1997), Katarina Srebotnik (1999), Henin (1999) and Angelique Widjaja (2001).
3. b - Henin defeated Cara Black 4-6/6-4/6-4 in the RG girls final to claim her only junior slam title. She defeated French players Virginie Razzano (2nd Rd.) and Nathalie Dechy (SF) en route to the final. In her other junior slam appearances, Henin lost in qualifying at the '96 RG and in the QF at both the '97 Wimbledon and U.S. Open.
4. a - Henin's final match win came with a 6-1/6-3 2nd Round victory over Elena Baltacha. It was the first singles match Henin had played against a British woman since 2000 (in a $75K challenger). Baltacha and Anne Keothavong (a qualifier) were the only British woman in the Australian Open main draw in 2011. Baltacha would die of liver cancer at age 30 in May 2014.
5. False - While Henin did defeat both Venus and Serena at the '07 U.S. Open en route to her final slam crown, the only player to ever defeat both of the Williams Sisters in a single event TWICE in her career was... Kim Clijsters. The Belgian did it at the WTA Championships in 2002 and at the U.S. Open in 2009. She won both titles. Only five other woman have accomplished the feat just once -- Arantxa Sanchez ('98 Sydney), Steffi Graf ('99 Sydney), Martina Hingis ('01 Australian), Lindsay Davenport ('04 L.A.) and Jelena Jankovic ('10 Rome).
6. c - Henin's streak reached 32 matches (25 in '07, then 7 more in '08).
7. BONUS (5 points) Maria Sharapova - Sharapova ended the 2007-08 winning streak with a win over Henin in the '08 Australian Open QF. Henin had defeated the Russian in the three-set, 3:24 WTA Championships final in Madrid (the longest recorded final in WTA history) to end the '07 season.
8. a - The only other world #1 other than Henin in 2004 to lose as early as the 2nd Round at Roland Garros was Serena Williams, who was upset in the 2nd Round in 2014 by Garbine Muguruza. Of note, Henin's '04 loss to Tathiana Garbin, which occurred when the Belgian was in the early stages of battling the energy-sapping cytomegalovirus, was her only loss in the event (29-1) over a five-year stretch from 2003-07.
9. d - Henin had seven Top 10 season-ending rankings in her career, all consecutively from 2001 to 2007, with three #1 seasons in '03, '06 and '07. She retired for the first time in May '08 while ranked #1, but (unlike with some recently retired players) her name was dropped from the WTA's computer rankings one week later. In her comeback year of 2010, she finished #12 despite not playing the second half of the season after injuring her elbow at Wimbledon.
10. True - Henin's final loss before her first retirement in '08 came in the Berlin 3rd Round vs. Dinara Safina, while her final loss before her second retirement in '11 came in the 3rd Round of the Australian Open at the hands of Svetlana Kuznetsova.

29-32 pts. - 2003 U.S. Open Semifinal/Final
23-28 pts. - 2007 Season
16-21 pts. - 2004 Athens Olympics
9-15 pts. - LPT 2
0-8 pts. - The Wave

All for now.


Blogger colt13 said...

Todd, isn't DC your area? Cheer Lauren Albanese on.

Stat of the Week-202- The number of tournaments played by Lauren Albanese since her last(and only)WTA main draw win-2006 USO. She hasn't failed, as her last 87 tourneys have been ITF. But with a win today, it will be her first WTA main draw since 2010.

Sun Jul 17, 09:24:00 AM EDT  

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