Monday, September 29, 2003

2003 3Q Quiz

...the 2003 3rd Quarter ended with Justine Henin-Hardenne staking her claim as the best player in the women's game via her victory over Kim Clijsters in the U.S. Open final. So, now it's time to see how closely you were paying attention between Wimbledon and Flushing Meadows.


1.Justine Henin-Hardenne's U.S. Open title gave her a second career grand slam singles title, as well as her second slam crown of 2003. Who was the last woman to claim her first two career slam titles in the same calendar year?
a.Jennifer Capriati in 2001
b.Venus Williams in 2000
c.Martina Hingis in 1997
2.Immediately following her rise to the #1 position in the singles rankings, Kim Clijsters lost to Lina Krasnoroutskaya in the 3rd Round in Toronto. Previous to that, when was the last time she'd failed to advance to at least the SF of a WTA event?
a.January 2003 in Sydney
b.September 2002 at U.S. Open
c.October 2002 in Zurich
3.A 3rd Quarter singles titleist became the youngest champion of the 2003 season, matching the feat she accomplished last year as the youngest title winner of 2002. Who is she?
a.Angelique Widjaja
b.Dinara Safina
c.Svetlana Kuznetsova
4.Since the WTA doubles rankings were instituted in 1984, nineteen players have held the #1 position. Two rose to that status for the first time in their careers during the 3rd Quarter. Kim Clijsters was one. Who was the other?
a.Virginia Ruano-Pascual
b.Paola Suarez
c.Ai Sugiyama
5.With the two new additions listed above, ten active players have at one time or another been ranked #1 in doubles. From the list below, pick out four who have held the #1 spot:

Corina Morariu
Conchita Martinez
Els Callens
Anna Kournikova
Martina Navratilova
Rennae Stubbs
6.Two players who have advanced to a grand slam semifinal or better in 1997 saw their singles rankings fall completely out of the Top 100 as the 3rd Quarter concluded. Who are they?
a.Iva Majoli & Clarisa Fernandez
b.Anna Kournikova & Martina Hingis
c.Iva Majoli & Anna Kournikova
7.Who was the youngest player to win a WTA main draw singles match during the 3rd Quarter?
a.Maria Sharapova
b.Victoriya Kutuzova
c.Carly Gullickson
d.Barbora Strycova
8.Here's a Backspin quarterly quiz regular: As the 3rd Quarter ended, who was the highest-ranked Top 100 player whose ranking at the start of the Quarter found her outside the Top 100?
a.Melinda Czink
b.Arantxa Parra
c.Maria Vento-Kabchi
9.True/False. Justine Henin-Hardenne has two career grand slam singles titles to Kim Clijsters' zero. In their junior days, Henin-Hardenne also won more grand slam girls titles than Clijsters.
10.Jennifer Capriati's title in New Haven was her first in nineteen months, but it meant that she's in a select group of players who have won at least one WTA singles crown in each year of the 2000s. From the list below, pick out four other players who have also won titles in each of the past four seasons:

Serena Williams
Venus Williams
Chanda Rubin
Kim Clijsters
Lindsay Davenport
Justine Henin-Hardenne
Amelie Mauresmo
Amanda Coetzer

==THE ANSWERS (1 point each unless noted)==

1.A... Capriati won both of the first two slam titles of her career (Australian, Roland Garros) during the 2001 season. Along with Henin-Hardenne (2003) and Capriati, the only other players to accomplish the feat since the Open era began in 1970 have been Venus Williams (2000), Martina Hingis (1997, the only one to win her first three in a single calendar year), Chris Evert (1974) and Evonne Goolagong (1971).
2.C... the last time Clijsters had failed to reach at least the SF was in October 2002 in Zurich, where she lost in the QF to Lindsay Davenport. Her SF-or-better streak covered sixteen WTA events.
3.B... Safina won her 2003 Palermo title at the age of 17 years, 2 months and 2 weeks, making her the youngest singles champion so far this season. In 2002, she was the youngest singles champ when she won the Sopot title at age 16 years, 3 months.
4.A... following Clijsters' rise to #1, it was Ruano-Pascual who became the the WTA's nineteenth doubles #1 this past quarter. Her "reign" only last one week, though.
5. (1 point for each of the four correctly identified) Morariu, Kournikova, Stubbs and Navratilova have all been ranked #1 in doubles during their careers. The six other active players who have been #1 in doubles are Clijsters, Ruano-Pascual, Suarez, Sugiyama, Davenport and Raymond. As things stood at the end of the 3rd Quarter, seven of the ten players were still ranked in the WTA's doubles Top 10. Only Kournikova, Stubbs and Morariu were outside the Top 10.
6.C... Majoli, the 1997 Roland Garros champion, and Kournikova, a semifinalist at Wimbledon in 1997 (her debut at SW19), both saw their singles rankings fall out of the Top 100.
7.B... Ukrainian-born Victoriya Kutuzova, 14 (two weeks shy of her 15th birthday), defeated Lina Krasnoroutskaya in the 1st Round in Los Angeles (Carson) in her WTA main draw debut. Of note, the next week Krasnoroutskaya rebounded by upsetting new world #1 Kim Clijsters in Toronto.
8.C... #72 Vento-Kabchi was the highest-ranked Top 100 newcomer at the end of the 3rd Quarter.
9.False... Neither Henin-Hardenne nor Clijsters ever won a grand slam girls singles title. Only Clijsters ever even made it to a final, losing to Katarina Srebotnik in the 1998 Wimbledon Girls Final. She did win the Roland Garros Girls Doubles (with Jelena Dokic) and US Open Girls Doubles (with Eva Dyrberg) titles in 1998. Actually, fellow Belgian Kirsten Flipkens has more grand slam girls singles titles than the Belgian-born current #1 & #2 players combined, having won both the Wimbledon and U.S. Open girls titles this summer.
10. (1 point for each of the four correctly identified) S.Williams, V.Williams, Clijsters and Mauresmo are the only players other than Capriati who have won at least one singles title in each season from 2000-03. Three others (Henin-Hardenne, Farina Elia & Maleeva) have won at least one title in every season from 2001-03.


16 -- You still haven't accomplished enough to challenge Kim's claim on #1... but you're getting close
15-10 -- This is YOUR battle with painful cramps... such it up like Henin-Hardenne and next time you'll reach the top, too.
9-5 -- Like Kirsten Flipkens, you're a "Waffle-in-Training"
0-4 -- Leo Clijsters won't have reason to challenge YOUR integrity