Saturday, September 18, 2004

2004 3Q Quiz


1.Svetlana Kuznetsova won the US Open as the #9 seed -- the lowest ever for a women's champion. Who was the lowest-seeded woman prior to 2004 to win the US Open Championship in the Open Era (1968 to now)?
a.Serena Williams in 1999
b.Venus Williams in 1997
c.Gabriela Sabatini in 1990
d.Virginia Wade in 1968
2.Amelie Mauresmo ended the 3rd Quarter by becoming the fourteenth woman to be ranked #1 on the WTA computer. In doing so, she earned a unique distinction. What is it?
a.she's the only #1 to have never won a grand slam singles title
b.she's the first openly gay female to hold the #1 ranking
c.she's the first #1 who didn't win a WTA title as a teenager
3.From a US Open postmatch interview of a losing player: "I'm really empty right now. It's too bad it happened here, but it's life... (I had) completely nothing. I didn't want to fight. I didn't want to run. I didn't want to do anything." Which Top 10 player said it?
4.In every year in the 2000s, just one player has managed to defeat both Serena and Venus Williams in the same season. Lindsay Davenport's 4-0 mark against the sisters in the 3rd Quarter completed the 5th "Sister Sweep" this decade. Pick the architects of the previous four de-constructions of the Williams clan:

1.Amelie Mauresmo
2.Kim Clijsters
3.Martina Hingis
4.Justine Henin-Hardenne
5.Lindsay Davenport
6.Meghann Shaughnessy
BONUS: Davenport defeated both Serena and Venus in the same L.A. event this summer. Name the four previous women to also defeat both sisters in the same event. Hint: all four have been ranked #1 in singles at some point in their careers.
5.Arantxa Sanchez Vicario participated in the Olympic doubles competition in Athens in August. How many times has she been a member of the Spanish Olympic team?
6.Justine Henin-Hardenne's singles Gold in Athens leaves her a Wimbledon championship (she was RU in '01) away from becoming only the third player -- male or female -- to win singles crowns at all four grand slams, as well as an Olympic singles Gold. Name the other two players who have done so, and their connection (if you know one of the two players, it's a given that you know their link, too).
7.Russian...Not a Russian. Which of the players from the following list are Russians, and which aren't?

Eugenia Linetskaya
Lioudmila Skavronskaia
Nina Bratchikova
Ekaterina Makarova
Ivanna Isroilova
Ekaterina Bychkova
Veronika Litvinskaya
Elena Tchalova
8.The two longest WTA match winning streaks in 2004 have been by Lindsay Davenport (22 matches) and Justine Henin-Hardenne (16). Both streaks were ended by the same player. Who is she?
a.Anastasia Myskina
b.Svetlana Kuznetsova
c.Maria Sharapova
9.True/False. In recent grand slam finals, we've been witness to all-American, all-Belgian and, now, all-Russian affairs. In the Open Era (1968-04), there has never been an all-nation grand slam women's final other than ones with players from those three countries. (If false, name the specifics about the last time it happened... slam, year, players.)
10.What was the name of the female chair umpire who notoriously overruled a correct call by a linesperson in the US Open quarterfinal match between Jennifer Capriati and Serena Williams?

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

1.A...#7-seed Serena Williams' US Open championship in 1999 made her the lowest-seeded woman to win the title in the Open Era before #9 Kuznetsova in 2004. Venus was unseeded in 1997, but she was RU to Martina Hingis. Sabatini was the #5 seed in 1990 (def. Graf), and Wade was #6 in 1968 (def. King).
2.C...Mauresmo didn't win her first WTA singles title until she was 20 (Bratislava '99). Prior to Mauresmo's ascension to #1, all of the thirteen previous top-ranked woman on the WTA computer had shown early promise in winning their initial WTA titles before turning 18. The oldest eventual #1 when she claimed her first title had been Martina Navratilova, who was 17 years, 11 months old when was won (Orlando '74). Clijsters shares Mauresmo's distinction as the only #1 women without grand slam titles and, of course, Navratilova preceded Mauresmo in publicly coming out of the closet long ago.
3.Those were the words of Anastasia Myskina following her 2nd Round defeat at the hands of 17-year old Russian qualifier Anna Chakvetadze at the US Open, just weeks after blowing a 5-1 3rd set lead vs. Henin-Hardenne in the Olympic SF (and then losing the Bronze Match to Alicia Molik). Here's a little more of what Myskina said: "When I was here first day, I was still crying about this match against Justine. So it's still in my mind, you know. And when I came here, I was still thinking. But, you know, if you here, you have to think about US Open. Maybe that was my mistake, still thinking about Athens... Right now, I'm still in Athens, I guess." Following her Open disappointment, Myskina nonetheless rose to a career-high singles ranking of #2. Then, in her next match, she was upset again by Maria Elena Camerin in the 2nd Round in Bali.
4.1,2,3,5. (1 point for each of 4 correct answers) The four previous times in the 2000s that the Williams sisters have both been beaten by the same player in one season were by Davenport (2000), Hingis (2001), Clijsters (2002) and Mauresmo (2003).
BONUS: (2 points for each of 4 correct answers) The other four players who have defeated both Williams sisters in the same event were Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, Steffi Graf, Martina Hingis and Kim Clijsters (the last to do it -- at the '02 WTA Championships -- before Davenport this year). All five have been #1 in their careers, and four (all but Graf) have been simultaneously #1 in both singles and doubles at some point.
5.C...ASV has been a member of a record five Spanish Olympic teams, participating in every Olympics since tennis was reinstituted as a medal sport in 1988. She's played in Seoul (1988), Barcelona (1992), Atlanta (1996), Sydney (2000) and Athens (2004). She's won four medals (two silver, two bronze), more than any other Spanish athlete. In 2001, ASV was named to the Spanish Olympic Committee.
6. (1 point for each of 3 correct answers) The only two players who have won all four slams and an Olympic Gold in singles are Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi. Of course, they're now married, with two children.
7. (1 point for each of 10 correct answers) Linetskaya, Skavonskaia, Bratchikova, Makarova, Bychkova and Tchalova are Russian. Yakimova is Belarussian, while Isroilova is from Uzbekistan and Litvinskaya from the Ukraine. All the Russians, by the way, have won ITF singles titles in 2004.
8.B...Svetlana Kuznetsova ended both streaks.
9.False. (2 points for T/F correct, plus 2 points for each of additional 4 correct answers) It HAS happened with players from a country other than USA/Russia/Belgium, but probably not with the nation you're thinking. If you were guessing Spain with ASV and Conchita Martinez, then you'd be surprisingly wrong (they never met in a slam singles final). Only one other country -- Australia -- has advanced two players to a slam final in the Open Era. In fact, it's happened eight times. Although, the last time there was an all-Aussie battle for a slam it was in December 1977 (2 pts.) at the Australian Open (2 pts.) between Evonne Goolagong (2 pts.) and Helen Gourlay (2 pts.). If you got those four answers right without looking them up, just throw out the rest of the quiz and give yourself a perfect score -- you should be doing your own quiz!
10.Mariana Alves


"Tennis Genius" = If you got that #9 Question correct without any help (and be honest!)
47-36 = Do you want to be Kuznetsova's doubles partner for '05?
35-24 = You win Dementieva's brightly-colored shorts from Flushing Meadows
23-12 = You're Myskina's sports psychologist for the rest of '04 (good luck)
11-1 = Sharapova's personal towelperson (no wonder you didn't try very hard)
0 = Come on now, did you really not know that Kuznetsova ended Davenport's 22-match streak last week?

Oh, I forgot to keep up the long-running Backspin Quiz tradition. So...

Anna Kournikova.

There, I said it. Now, I can get out of here. All for now.