Wednesday, March 31, 2004

2004 1Q Quiz

...the WTA's 1st Quarter might not quite be over, but that doesn't mean there can't be a Backspin Quiz -- the first of 2004 -- that focuses on it.


1.Justine Henin-Hardenne's Australian Open championship means she's won three of the last four slam titles (a .750 percentage). Who was the last non-Williams to pull off a .700 or better title feat over the span of four-plus slams?
a.Martina Hingis
b.Steffi Graf
c.Jennifer Capriati
2."It gave me goosebumps on my face." Who said it?
a.Anastasia Myskina
b.Tatiana Golovin
c.Kim Clijsters
3.Which of these 2004 WTA singles titleists have won at least one crown in each of the past three seasons? Pick any number of players.

a.Lindsay Davenport
b.Fabiola Zuluaga
c.Paola Suarez
d.Eleni Daniilidou
e.Anastasia Myskina
f.Ai Sugiyama
4."I'm a 14-year old from the Czech Republic. In January, I was the runner-up in the Australian Open Girls junior competition. I debuted in the singles rankings on March 1, just before playing in my first career WTA event in Acapulco, where I defeated a 2004 singles finalist in the 1st Round and followed it up with an upset of the tournament's #2 seed to advance to the quarterfinals." Who am I?
a.Jarmila Gajdosova
b.Nicole Vaidisova
c.Barbora Strycova
5.True/False. There have been more WTA singles finalists over the age of 30 in the 1st Quarter than there have been teenage finalists.
6.Three players simultaneously appeared in the Top 10 in both singles and doubles during the 1st Quarter. Which three?
7.Of the sixteen pre-Miami singles champions in the 1st Quarter, who had the lowest singles ranking at the time of the title?
a.Amy Frazier
b.Nicole Pratt
c.Iveta Benesova
d.Fabiola Zuluaga
8.Kim Clijsters won her 20th and 21st WTA career singles titles during the 1st Quarter. Pick out the five other active players with 20 or more WTA singles titles.
a.Monica Seles
b.Serena Williams
c.Mary Pierce
d.Amelie Mauresmo
e.Jennifer Capriati
f.Amanda Coetzer
g.Venus Williams
h.Lindsay Davenport
i.Conchita Martinez
j.Justine Henin-Hardenne
9.Justine Henin-Hardenne's title at Indian Wells was the sixth Tier I crown of her career. How many consecutive Tier I matches has JHH now won?
10.Match the player with her "WTA Backspin" 2004 nickname:

a.Kim Clijsters
b.Emma Laine
c.Selima Sfar
d.Anastasia Myskina
e.Tatiana Golovin
1.The (Near) Great
2.The Frussian Pasty
3.The Tunisian Tornado

==THE ANSWERS (2 points each unless noted)==

1.A. Hingis was the last to put together such a .700+ slam title stretch, winning 4 of 5 slams (.800) from the '97 Australian to the '98 Australian. Her only slam loss, preventing a true Grand Slam, was in the '97 Roland Garros final against Iva Majoli. Capriati won 3 of 5 (.600) in 2001-02, while Graf won 6 of 7 (.857) in 1995-96. As for the Williams sisters, Serena won 5 of 6 in 2002-03, while Venus took 4 of 6 in 2000-01.
2.C. Kim Clijsters, after winning the title in Antwerp. It was her first WTA crown in her home country of Belgium.
3.B,D,E. (1 point for each of the 3 correct answers) Only three of the six listed have now won titles in each of the past three seasons (2002-04): Zuluaga, Daniilidou & Myskina.
4.B. She's 14-year old Nicole Vaidisova (who turns 15 in April). She made that successful 1Q WTA debut in Acapulco, defeating Lubomira Kurhajcova (RU in Bogota the previous week) 6-6/ret. in the 1st Round, then upsetting #2-seed Shinobu Asagoe (then-#48 in the world). It wasn't Vaidisova's first success in a pro event, though. She'd won two of the three ITF events she'd enterered in 2003-04.
5.False. Despite the overwhelmingly higher number of teens on tour than 30-year olds, the 1st Quarter has seen an equal number of finalists (5) from each age group. The teen finalists have been Ashley Harkleroad (Auckland), Vera Zvonareva (Memphis), Maria Kirilenko (Hyderabad) and Svetlana Kuznetsova (Dubai & Doha); while the over-30's have been Amy Frazier (Hobart), Silvia Farina Elia (Canberra & Antwerp), Lisa Raymond (Memphis) & Nicole Pratt (Hyderabad). As far as winners, there have been two 30+ champs (Frazier & Pratt) compared to just one teen (Zvonareva).
6.A. Clijsters, Davenport and Sugiyama are the only three players to rank in the Top 10 in singles and doubles simultaneously during the Quarter. Clijsters and Sugiyama have appeared in both every week so far, while Davenport only fell out of the Doubles Top 10 before the final 1Q event in Miami.
7.C. Benesova's first career title (in Acapulco) came when she was #99 in the WTA singles rankings. Frazier was #60 in Hobart, Pratt #59 in Hyderabad and Zuluaga #25 in Bogota.
8.A,B,G,H,I. (1 point for each of the 5 correct answers) Seles (53), Davenport (39), Martinez (32), Venus (29) and Serena (23) are the others with 20 or more titles. The highest of the other five listed are Henin-Hardenne (18), Pierce (15) and Capriati (14). Of course, this list doesn't include still-active doubles specialist Martina Navratilova, who has a record 167.
9.C. JHH has won 26 straight Tier I matches, a string of five tournaments. The last time she lost in a Tier I event was to Chanda Rubin in the Miami QF in March 2003. Over her last 30 Tier I matches, she's gone 29-1. The only Tier I title she's won more than once has been Berlin (2002-03).
10.a-5,b-4,c-3,d-1,e-2. (1 point for each correct match)


27-20 - Like Queen Justine, you're impeccable under pressure
19-12 - Like Kuznetsova, you're someone to keep a wary eye on
11-6 - Like Wonder Girl & the Debutante, questions are endless
5 or less - Like Kournikova, you've been AWOL all season (and the Anna/Backspin Quiz streak continues!)