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tdsinusa
Nov 30th, 2006, 03:04 PM
Last year, someone put a link up here to my WTA Yearbook column. Since that person hasn't done so thus far this year, I'll do it myself. :)

Here's a link (with colors and accompanying pics):
WTA Backspin: 2006 WTA Yearbook (http://wtabackspin.blogspot.com/2006/11/time-has-come.html)

Here's the unadorned (and a little busy/cluttered) version:



The time has come. (Pictures and words brought to you free of charge.)

=STUDENT COUNCIL=
CLASS PRESIDENT: Amelie Mauresmo (making nice with history)
VICE PRESIDENT: Justine Henin-Hardenne (currently plotting coup d'etat)
PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE: Maria Sharapova (under certain Scenarios)
CO-VALEDICTORIANS: Lisa Raymond & Samantha Stosur (the Wizards of Dubs)
SALUTATORIAN: Nadia Petrova (boy, that Sharapova casts quite a long Russian shadow)
CLASS TREASURER: Nicole Vaidisova (hoping to be a more "big money" player in '07)
SCHOOL SPIRIT COORDINATORS: Francesca Schiavone, Flavia Pennetta, Mara Santangelo & Roberta Vinci
FACULTY/STUDENT BODY LIASION: Vania King (an American tennis player named King... hmmm, that has a familiar ring -- but can the "other" one carry a tune?)
DEPOSED EX-PRESIDENT: Lindsay Davenport (presumably living on Elba)


Venus Williams, after being upset by Tszvetana Pironkova at the Australian Open: "Obviously, she benefitted from my largesse." (hey, someone's been using that thesaurus she got for her birthday) ... For her part, Pironkova reported that fellow players greeted her with congratulations -- "Well job. Good done," to Pironkova's recollection -- when she arrived in the lockerroom after the match. (Mangled English, yes... but in a cute, say-it-again-Tszvetana sort of way)


=FACULTY & STAFF=
CAMPUS DEAN: Martina Hingis (back from a three-year sabbatical on a Kenyan safari... or something like that)
GUIDANCE COUNSELOR: Svetlana "You're Never Cursed Until You Believe You're Cursed" Kuznetsova
TENURED PROFESSOR: Anna Smashnova (12 out of 13 ain't bad)
(GARBLED) COMMUNICATION DIRECTORS/WEBSITE DESIGNERS: Mr. & Mrs. Patty Schnyder (there's a fine line between deep thought and "just plain cuckoo".... and Patty is from Switzerland, after all)
COMMENCEMENT KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Jelena Jankovic (Speech title: "Let a Smile Be Your Handshake")
YEARBOOK PHOTOGRAPHER/MODEL:
Ana Ivanovic (order your "WTA Girls Gone Wild!" DVD in time for Christmas)



"A mile can be very long, especially if it is a white one." -- Patty Schnyder


=DEPARTMENT HEADS=
SCHOOL OF BUSINESS: Maria Sharapova (the woman, the myth, the empire)
ENGLISH (rotating heads): Anne Keothavong, Melanie South, Sarah Borwell, Jade Curtis, Julia Bone, Linda Blair... um, scratch that last one
FRENCH (-CANADIAN): Stephanie Dubois (merci, Kim)
CHINESE: Zi Yan & Jie Zheng (strength in numbers)
DRAMATIC ARTS: Serena Williams (actor/ambassador/sister/daughter... player?)
MUSIC: Vania King (your "American Idol")
POLITICAL/SOCIAL SCIENCES: Martina Navratilova (class starts promptly at 8 a.m., with field trips to Prague occurring every 20 years)
PSYCHOLOGY: Nadia Petrova (author of the runaway 2005-06 bestseller, "Success Breeds More Success")
(POP) PSYCHIATRY: Dinara Safina (whacky blood is thicker than whacky water... or vodka, in this case)
VETERINARY SCIENCE: Kim Clijsters (when she's not tripping over Diesel)
SCHOOL OF "FASHION": Bethanie Mattek (when too much is never enough)
SCIENCE (of working with others): Francesca Schiavone (3 doubles titles, 1 Fed Cup title, 0 singles titles)
SCHOOL OF MEDICINE (and hard knocks): Mary Pierce (recently reinstated)
FITNESS AND HEALTH: Martina Navratilova (from the womb to the tomb)
PART-TIME SHEILA OF ALL TRADES: Alicia Molik (available for volley and tango lessons)
NUTRITION: Maria Sharapova (bananas are good for you, and a nice source of-
....umm, where was I? Oh, yeah -- bananas taste good.)
WORLD RELIGIONS/SOFT DRINK ADVERTISING: Sania Mirza
HISTORY: Conchita Martinez (Miss Sanchez Vicario is on vacation)
PHYSICS (of time travel): Daniela Hantuchova (travel back to the age of wine, roses and Tier I finals... 2002)
SOCIAL WORK: Chanda Rubin (unlike some, she doesn't practically beg for her halo)
RETIREMENT PLANNING: Monica Seles, Jennifer Capriati (coming soon: Lindsay Davenport, Mary Pierce & Kim Clijsters)
TRAVELLING AMBASSADOR: Serena Williams (U.N. approved... and 99/100th's percent pure)
SEX ED: Sesil Karatantcheva (today's lecture topic: "When Teenage Pregnancy is Considered Your Best Option... you know you're in deep trouble")


"I believe, at the end of the day, personally, my life is not about a banana. It's not about what I wear. It's not about the friends that I have. My career right now is about winning a tennis match. And right now, I'm sitting here as a U.S. Open champion, and the last thing I think people need to worry about is a banana." - Maria Sharapova


=JUNIOR/SENIOR PROM COMMITTEE=
PROM QUEEN: Nicole Vaidisova
LADY-IN-WAITING: Anna Chakvetadze
JUNIOR QUEEN: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
QUEEN'S COURT: Shahar Peer, Tatiana Golovin, Michaella Krajicek, Olga Poutchkova, Anna-Lena Groenefeld, Jamea Jackson, Tszvetana Pironkova, Elena Vesnina, Kaia Kanepi
JUNIOR QUEEN'S COURT: Victoria Azarenka, Jarmila Gajdosova, Viktoriya Kutuzova, Aleksandra Wozniak, Timea Bacsinszky, Yung-Jan Chan, Raluca Olaru, Urszula Radwanska, Aravane Rezai, Mihaela Buzarnescu, Magdalena Rybarikova, Chelsey Gullickson
PARTY-CRASHERS: Marion Bartoli, Vania King, Tamira Paszek, Sofia Arvidsson
TROPHY DECORATING COMMITTEE: Mara Santangelo, Lourdes Dominguez-Lino, Tiantian Sun
HEARTBREAKER (of unsuspecting highly-ranked players): Agnieszka Radwanska
RULEBREAKER: Caroline Wozniacki (U.S. Open Jr. ejectee)
FALLEN (INDIAN) PRINCESS: Sania Mirza
REFRESHMENT COMMITTEE SUPERVISOR: Yuri Sharapov (a batch of bananas in every pot)
FACULTY ADVISORS: Lisa Raymond, Meghann Shaughnessy, Cara Black, Rennae Stubbs, Nicole Pratt, Severine Bremond


"Shocking. You feel like you're in the middle of a circus, not a tennis tournament." - Alicia Molik, complaining of Tina Turner music, generators and blow dryers from a nearby court, planes overhead, a tennis clinic with cheering, and burning hot dogs from a vendor all interrupting her during her U.S. Open 1st Round match. By the way, in case you couldn't tell, she lost.


=CLASS FAVORITES=
MOST WELL-LIKED: Kim Clijsters (mine is not to wonder why, but is just to scoff and deny)
SEXIEST S.I. SWIMSUIT MODEL:
(circa 1997) Steffi Graf...(circa 2002) Anna Kournikova
(circa 2004) Serena Williams...(circa 2006) Maria Sharapova
MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED: Nicole Vaidisova
HOTTEST "HOTTIE": Ana Ivanovic (according to a Tennis Channel "scientific" poll)
PERSONALITY PLUS: Justine Henin-Hardenne
PERSONALITY MINUS: Justine Henin-Hardenne
QUIETEST:
(Top 10) Patty Schnyder (the only Top 10er without a 2006 title)
(Top 20) Marion Bartoli (Poutchkova is surprised she hasn't won a grand slam?)
(Top 50) Martina Muller (one Martina exits, another knocks on the door)
MOST ADMIRED: (speaking of...) Martina Navratilova


"Some understand and some don't. You can't make people like you." - Justine Henin-Hardenne


=RUSSIAN ROUND TABLE=
LEADING LADY: Maria Sharapova
UNDERSTUDY: Anna Chakvetadze
THE NEXT BIG THING?:
....if a personal, photo-filled website means big-time success is right around then corner, then Olga Poutchkova has her bases covered.
MAYBE NOT THE NEXT BIG THING: Maria Kirilenko & Vera Dushevina
CROSSROADS: Anastasia Myskina
CURSE-REVERSER: Svetlana Kuznetsova
RESURRECTION PROJECT: Vera Zvonareva
M.I.A.: Evgenia Linetskaya
BEST YOGA AFICIONADO: Elena Bovina (if you haven't seen the Tennis Channel "No Strings" episode starring Bovina... well, you should)
BEST SISTER (still and, in many ways, more than ever): Dinara Safina
VETERAN: Elena Dementieva (easing into the latter half of her career with elan, even if it's sans an improved serve)
NAKEDEST RUSSIAN: (circa 2003) Anastasia Myskina... (circa 2006) Maria Sharapova
ITF PRINCESSES: Olga Poutchkova & Vasilisa Bardina
NextGEN HORDETTE: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova


Elena Dementieva, on the use of male models as ball boys during the YEC: "I don't think they really know what they have to do on the court because they are too busy watching the players." ... As far as Justine Henin-Hardenne was concerned: "I'm very excited, but I'm married, so I can look but not touch."


=HONORS SOCIETY ROLL CALL=
HARD COURT PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Maria Sharapova
CLAY COURT PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Nadia Petrova
GRASS COURT PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Amelie Mauresmo
INDOOR PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Maria Sharapova
FED CUP PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Francesca Schiavone

TOUR CREATOR (1970's): Billie Jean King
TOUR STAR(1970's/1980's): Chris Evert
OUT STAR: Billie Jean King
STAR CALLER-OUTER: Chris Evert (Chrissie-to-Serena: "Rededicate.")
COMPLEX NAME-TAKER (2006): USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center (20 years late)
NextGEN AMERICAN STARS ACADEMY POD (2007 & beyond): Evert Academy, new HQ of USTA Player Development Program (10 years late)

MEANT EVERYTHING THEN: Amelie Mauresmo wins 2005 YEC
STILL MEANT EVERYTHING LATER: Mauresmo wins Australian Open & Wimbledon in 2006
MEANT SOMETHING THEN: Kim Clijsters wins 2005 U.S. Open
MEANT NOTHING LATER: Clijsters wins no major titles in 2006
SEEMED TO MEAN SOMETHING THEN, BUT DIDN'T: Jelena Dokic wins Australian Open wild card playoff tournament

MOST SIMILAR GAMES (and career trajectories?): Jelena Dokic & Sania Mirza
MOST SIMILAR VERSIONS OF SAME GAME: Martina Hingis & Anna Chakvetadze
MOST DISSIMILAR VERSIONS OF SAME GAME: Anna-Lena Groenefeld on hard courts (bad)... Anna-Lena Groenefeld on every other surface (pretty good). Only ALG and her pillow know the truth.

THE MORE THINGS CHANGE: 1999 Wimbledon QF - Alexandra Stevenson def. Jelena Dokic
THE MORE THEY STAY THE SAME: 2006 Wimbledon Qualifying 1st Round - Alexandra Stevenson def. Jelena Dokic

WITH NAVRATILOVA: We marvel at Martina winning a grand slam Mixed title one month before her 50th birthday
WITHOUT NAVRATILOVA: We marvel at the longevity of the career of Nicole Pratt (yeah, it just doesn't have the same ring to it, huh?)

NO HOPE: Indonesia refused to play Israel in Fed Cup action
HOPE: Sania Mirza hopes to again play doubles with Shahar Peer

=SESIL... IN EXILE=
EXQUISITE IN THE CITY: Maria Sharapova in NYC
STUCK IN A HOTEL ROOM IN THE CITY, version 1.0: Sesil Karatantcheva... who's she being stuck by? (but, hey, at least she enjoyed it)
STUCK IN A HOTEL ROOM IN THE CITY, version 2.0: Sesil Karatantcheva... what's she being stuck with? (it wasn't worth it)

DIDN'T YOU USED TO BE THE UP-AND-COMING BULGARGIAN STAR WHO BEAT VENUS?: Sesil Karatantcheva
AREN'T YOU THE NEW UP-AND-COMING BULGARIAN STAR WHO BEAT VENUS?: Tszvetana Pironkova

2005 SESIL MYSTERY: Who can resist her?
2006 SESIL MYSTERY SOLVED: Apparently, no one (version 1.0)... or the entire WTA Tour (version 2.0)

Don't worry, Sesil... Backspin still luvs ya. See you in 2008.

=ALL-BACKSPIN TEAMS=
AMERICANAS FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH?: Vania King, Jamea Jackson, Shenay Perry, Lauren Albanese, Alexa Glatch, Madison Brengle, Chelsey Gullickson, Stacey Tan
CANUCK PRIDE: Aleksandra Wozniak, Stephanie Dubois, Sharon Fichman

ALL-BEAUTIFUL
....Sharapova's little black dress
....Adidas blue-and-black (is it a coincidence that Henin-Hardenne, Petrova & Chakvetadze combined for 13 titles, including 3 Tier I's and a slam, in the ever-present-but-you-still-don't-hate-it color scheme?)
....Bethanie Mattek's ability to generate headlines without striking a ball
....Brenda Schultz-McCarthy's new/old serve
....Kim Clijsters not being able to win Hassselt in '07 (there won't be a tournament taking place)

ALL-UGLY
....MORE on-court coaching in' 07? (gimme a break -- give it a rest!)
....the Justine Henin-Hardenne Haters Society (JHHHS)
....Katerina Bohmova and her mother's shoplifting charges
....Bethanie Mattek's 1970's boardwalk rollerskater look at SW19, and living room curtains and leg warmers combo at Flushing Meadows


TRANSPARENT KIM CLIJSTERS ATTEMPTS TO PERPETUATE HER HALO (or, DESPERATE PLANS, SELF-SERVING COMMENTS, AND SIMPLE STUPIDITY)
....February: Kim says Mauresmo should be #1 (this was when Clijsters was still at the top of the rankings, mind you)
....February: Kim provides 20,000 bottles of champagne for Antwerp attendees (in light of JHH's crucifixion scenario, "Tweety" Kim polishes off her halo)
....August: Kim plays on in Montreal despite an injured wrist, only to fall on it and miss two months (including her U.S. Open title defense, and Fed Cup final)
....October: Kim, a week before her return to the court, bruises her tailbone falling over her dog Diesel while kicking a soccer ball in the garden with her fiance
....Beijing 2008: Kim has refused an Olympic invitation (no matter, she skipped Athens '04 because the Belgian team wasn't going to be wearing uniforms provided by Fila)
....oh, and just a note -- Kim retired in Melbourne against Mauresmo, too

ALL-MYSTERY (single entry)
....reason for "pigeon plot" against Mashona Washington. The American led Maria Sharapova 5-3 in the 3rd set and held a second match point in their 1st Round meeting at Roland Garros when the pigeons interrupted play and landed in the service box. Washington soon lost her lead, and the match. Sharapova went on to blow a 5-1 3rd set lead against Dinara Safina a few matches later. Mission accomplished... whatever it was. (Hmmm, what is it about "accomplished" missions that seem to have no point?)

ALL-ITF
Olga Poutchkova, Sandra Martinovic, Anne Schaefer, Bettina Jorami, Jarmila Gajdosova, Martina Muller, Romina Oprandi, Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, Jorgelina Cravero, Shuai Zhang, Ankita Bhambri, Yung-Jan Chan, Angelique Kerber

ALL-UNDERRATED: Anabel Medina-Garrigues, Jie Zheng, Katarina Srebotnik, Virginia Ruano-Pascual, Cara Black, Julia Vakulenko

=YEARBOOK GRAFFITI=
"Sometimes a banana is just a banana. Just ask Rafa." - Maria
"And sometimes it's not" - Wimbledon streaker
"Thanks for the Pepto" - Justine
"No matter what you say about me, I'd never say anything mean about you" - Kim

....sure, Kim. Whatever you say.

=ALL BACKSPIN WANTS FOR CHRISTMAS=
1. Finally, a first Sharapova vs. Vaidisova matchup in '07
2. For Justine to wear all black -- including the hat, especially the hat (if she's going to be cast as the villain, why not look the part?)
3. A piece of next year's "Bon Voyage, Kim" cake
4. A Gullickson-Gullickson all-"Natural" team in doubles... with no reliever in sight
5. Maria Sharapova in a Carmen Miranda outfit
6. Venus & Serena to kick around (or embrace, if the moment is right) again
7. Another go around in the spotlight for Sania
8. A stadium/court named for Navratilova... somewhere, then in every tennis-playing country (call it the "Ronald Reagan treatment")
9. A tennis star on the American version of "Dancing with the Stars" (Anna, do you have a few spare months? How about you, Martina?)
10. Instant replay... everywhere, at any time, as many times as necessary


"This is the last match. This is definite. Not allegedly. This is a closed chapter. It's past midnight. It's past my bedtime." - Martina Navratilova


Res Ipsa Loquitur. All for now.

franny
Nov 30th, 2006, 03:52 PM
Wow, this is good stuff. Very creative too. NICE.

jimbo mack
Nov 30th, 2006, 03:53 PM
it's all over the place

-sugi-
Nov 30th, 2006, 04:00 PM
well done :) A nice read :bigclap:

charmedRic
Nov 30th, 2006, 04:10 PM
I Like. :)

Ellery
Nov 30th, 2006, 04:41 PM
Thanks! Well done.