|Photo: Mauricio Paiz|Photo: Martin Sidorjak|Photo: Mauricio Paiz|Photo: Mauricio Paiz||||||||||Photo: TennisTV.com|Photo: Mauricio Paiz|Photo: TennisTV.com|Photo: TennisTV.com|Photo: Mauricio Paiz|Photo: Mauricio Paiz

Note 1: For last week’s Genius/Joker Quiz with answers scroll to bottom.

Note 2: Click on the pictures to enlarge.

There’s nothing quite like a Grand Slam tournament site in the days before the event starts. Wimbledon is particularly special with its limited access on those days, its tradition and its pristine grass courts. Above, Félix Auger-Aliassime practices with Alex de Minaur on Court 11 three days before the 2019 edition of The Championships began.

Photo: Mauricio Paiz

The walk out for matches is a decidedly tense time for players. Here, Bianca Andreescu is headed for her opening-round match (the first of the seven victories that made her the US Open champion) against 17-year-old American Katie Volynets. The match was played on Court 10 and was it was Andreescu’s first main-draw match and first career win at the US Open.

Tennis is a mano a mano competition. Here Félix Auger-Aliassime volleys against Benoit Paire during the final of the ATP 250 event in Lyon last May.

Photo: TennisTV.com

It’s always a special moment for a player when he wins his first ATP title. Here Denis Shapovalov savours his breakthrough triumph with the Stockholm Open’s large spherical trophy.

Photo: Mauricio Paiz

All tennis players know that helpless feeling when a winning lob floats overhead and out of reach. During her first-round match at the French Open against Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine, at least Genie Bouchard was able to smile while losing the point.

Félix Auger-Aliassime could never have prepared for the overwhelming reception last summer when he played the Coupe Rogers in his hometown of Montreal for the first time. Here, as he comes off the court after a match, a throng of enthusiastic fans are hoping for an autograph, a selfie or just a close-up look.

A day with the hot sun beating down in the warm desert air in Indian Wells can take its toll on BNP Paribas Open patrons. This couple are enjoying the late-afternoon light while resting – the man well-prepared with his Bud Light beside him.

Photo: Mauricio Paiz

One of the most charming arenas in tennis is no more. Court No. 1 (the bullring) at Roland Garros, opened in 1980, has been demolished to give way to expanded spectator space in the Place des Mousquetaires.

Photo: Mauricio Paiz

Bianca Andreescu stole the show at the 2019 US Open, becoming the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam singles title. In this picture from her round-of-16 win over American Taylor Townsend, it’s possible to sense the power of the 19-year-old from Mississauga, Ont.

Tennis fans are eternally fascinated by Wimbledon. Here two women look through a thick hedge hoping to catch a glimpse of players as they arrive by car at the All England Club entrance on Somerset Road.

The stands were packed for this first-round Coupe Rogers match between Félix Auger-Aliassime (near court) and Vasek Pospisil at Stade IGA in Montreal last summer. Auger-Aliassime came out the winner 6-2, 6-7(3), 7-6(3).

Photo: Martin Sidorjak

Rebecca Marino has had most of her 2019 season ruined by a bad case of plantar faciitis. This is a picture of her with captain Heidi El Tabakh during Canada’s Fed Cup tie in Prostejov, Czech Republic, in April.

It was nice to see Denis Shapovalov and Milos Raonic practicing together on the Aorangi courts at Wimbledon this year. Here Raonic, racquet in left hand, smiles as Shapovalov prepares to put away a forehand volley.

It was one of the most moving moments of the 2019 tennis year – Rafael Nadal hoisting Roberto Bautista Agut after Spain won the Davis Cup last month in Madrid, just three days after the 31-year-old Spaniard’s father Joaquin passed away.

Photo: TennisTV.com

Denis Shapovalov lost one of the best matches of 2019 when he was beaten 6-7(5), 7-6(4), 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-3 in the third round of the US Open by Gael Monfils. But Shapovalov got a measure of revenge two months later when he defeated the gentlemanly Frenchman (see above) 6-2, 6-2 on his way to the Rolex Paris Masters final.

Photo: TennisTV.com

One of the most unlikely moments of 2019 occurred when Nick Kyrgios delivered a pair of shoes (shoe lace problems) from father/coach Apostolos to son Stefanos Tsitsipas mid-match during the Washington ATP 500 event in August. Kyrgios edged Tsitsipas 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(7) in the semi-finals and went on to win the title.

Photo: Mauricio Paiz

There were a number of memorable and intense on-court coaching sessions between Sylvain Bruneau and Bianca Andreescu this past year. Here they are at the Miami Open – an event where Andreescu eventually had to retire in the fourth round with a shoulder problem that would severely limit her spring and summer schedule.

The Coupe Rogers in Montreal always does a first-rate job at getting fans involved in post-match, on-court high jinks. Here Rafael Nadal belts a ball up into the stands.

Photo: Mauricio Paiz

Gabriela Dabrowski had another good year in doubles, finishing in the WTA top-10 rankings for the second year in a row – this time at No. 8. Here she and in-sync, mixed-doubles partner Mate Pavic of Croatia are seen beating American Kaitlyn Christian and Frederik Nielsen of Denmark in the first round at Roland Garros.

This is a screen shot of Roger Federer celebrating during the Laver Cup. Federer’s courtside European teammates are going bananas while on-court captain Bjorn Borg’s reaction is somewhat more muted.


Welcome to the 7th annual Genius/Joker Quiz – there are no prizes or bonus points this year, just 20 questions to pique your interest and test your tennis IQ.

1. Four players in the 2019 Top 10 won 50 or more matches on the WTA tour – Ashleigh Barty (57), Kiki Bertens (55), Karolina Pliskova (52) and Belinda Bencic (50). In terms of best win/loss percentage for the season, only one of those was among the Top 4. Who were the No. 1 and 2 in win/loss percentage?

a. Bianca Andreescu and Ashleigh Barty
b. Bianca Andreescu and Serena Williams
c. Ashleigh Barty and Serena Williams
d. Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka

Answer: a. Andreescu (48-7 / 87.2%) and Barty (57-13 / 81.4%)

2. Which two of these WTA / ATP romances did NOT survive the 2019 year?

a. Elina Svitolina – Gael Monfils
b. Donna Vekic – Stan Wawrinka
c. Ajla Tomljanovic – Matteo Berrettini
d. Kristina Mladenovic – Dominic Thiem

Answer: b. and d.

3. In 1868, the rules of tennis were changed so that the distance between the service line and the net was reduced from 26 to 22 feet. Two years later, in 1870, it was moved up to 21 feet from the net. Which of the following is true?

a. The service line was moved up further to 20 feet in 1887
b. It was moved back to 22 feet in 1895
c. It was changed back to 20 feet from the net in 1904
d. It still remains at 21 feet today

Answer: d. still at 21 feet

4. Who has the most Twitter followers?

a. Stefanos Tsitsipas
b. Bianca Andreescu
c. Nick Kyrgios
d. Naomi Osaka

Answer: d. Osaka – 488K, Kyrgios (350K), Andreescu (197K), Tsitsipas (143K)

5. In this picture taken at the 2019 Australian Open, there are four people with Bianca Andreescu’s coach Sylvain Bruneau (in black cap and sweatshirt). They are (clockwise from top) WTA board member Vanessa Webb, Fed Cup captain Heidi El Tabakh, physical trainer Virginie Tremblay and agent Jonathan Dasnières de Veigy. Which one of them is NOT a Canadian?

a. Webb
b. El Tabakh
c. Tremblay
d. Dasnières de Veigy

Answer: d. Dasnières de Veigy is French and a former ATP player (#146)

6. Which one of these players does NOT hold an 0-for record (in other words is not winless) in 10 or more matches against Roger Federer?

a. Mikhail Youzhny
b. Tommy Robredo
c. David Ferrer
d. Feliciano Lopez

Answer: b. Robredo is 1-11

7. Is anything wrong in this version of the French Open poster by the late Spanish artist Eduardo Arroyo – probably the most popular in the first 40 years of the tournament’s signature artwork?

a. Wrong colours on the headband
b. Wrong spelling on poster
c. Wrong year on poster
d. Nothing is wrong

Answer: b. wrong spelling – should be ‘Roland Garros’

8. Milos Raonic, Vasek Pospisil, Denis Shapovalov and Félix Auger-Aliassime have been Canada’s best male players over the past few years. How many times (total) have there been matches between these four – and who has the best winning percentage in all those matches?

a. 11 matches – Raonic
b. 12 matches – Pospisil
c. 14 matches – Shapovalov
d. 13 matches – Auger-Aliassime

 Answer: d. 13 – Auger-Aliassime 62.5% : 1-1 vs MR, 1-2 vs DS, 3-0 vs VP

9. Who far and away had the dubious honour of hitting the most double faults on the WTA tour in 2019 –with a grand total of 436 for an average of 8.07 per match?

a. Jelena Ostapenko
b. Aryna Sabalenka
c. Kiki Bertens
d. Belinda Bencic

Answer: a. Ostapenko – including 25 in winning a match in Beijing in the fall

10. From February until November of this year, Genie Bouchard lost 13 matches in a row. What has been the longest winning streak of her career?

a. 8 matches in 2015
b. 12 matches in 2014
c. 10 matches in 2014
d. 13 matches in 2014

Answer: c. 10 matches 2014 – Nuremberg title to French Open quarter-final

11. From our 2019 Australian Open video quiz with Canadian players, which of the following is INCORRECT “Down Under”?

a. Traffic cones are known as witches’ hats
b. A stoush is a battle or brawl
c. A marsupial is a bird similar to but larger than a crow
d. The ‘Aussie salute’ is swiping a hand across the face at aggressive flies

Answer: c. a marsupial is a mammal carried and suckled in a pouch on the mother’s belly – e.g. a kangaroo

12. Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia has just retired at age 30. During her career she …

a. Was the shortest – 5-foot-3 – Grand Slam finalist of the 21st century
b. Was able to – in a blind smell test – identify the different balls used at the four Grand Slam tournaments
c. Reached as high as no. 4 in the WTA rankings in March 2017
d. All of the above

Answer: d. all of the above

13. Who are the two tennis players visible in this dated photo taken at the former Court 2 at Roland Garros?

a. Elena Vesnina and David Ferrer
b. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Gilles Simon
c. Elena Vesnina and Gilles Simon
d. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Tommy Robredo

Answer: d. Pavlyuchenkova and Robredo

14. Who invented the term ‘moonball’?

a. Tennis commentator and former player Brad Gilbert
b. Tennis commentator and former player Mary Carillo
c. Boston Globe reporter and tennis broadcaster Bud Collins
d. Tennis broadcaster Dick Enberg

Answer: c. Bud Collins

15. There are three current and/or retired professional players in this dated picture from Wimbledon, one is partially obstructed. Who are they?

a. Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Michael Joyce and Jessica Pegula
b. Mandy Minella, Wim Fissette and Timea Bacsinszky
c. Genie Bouchard, Darren Cahill and Simona Halep
d. Maria Sharapova, Thomas Hogstedt and Mirjana Lucic-Baroni

Answer: c. Bouchard, Cahill, Halep

16. Thanks to stats/graphics man Enrico Maria Riva for this one. Fernando Verdasco totalled the most doubles faults, 2262, in the decade from 2010 – 2019 on the pro tour. Fabio Fognini was second with 2145 and Benoit Paire third with 2111. Remembering that Roger Federer played way more matches than any of those guys – where did the Swiss rank in double faults during the decade?

a. 17th with 1812
b. 23rd with 1776
c. 42nd with 1032
d. 63rd with 911

Answer: c. 42nd – 1032 or 1.5 double faults per match. Verdasco averaged 4.1 and Paire 4.8

17. Who is the most recent university graduate to have won a Grand Slam singles title?

a. Marion Bartoli
b. Stan Smith
c. Arthur Ashe
d. Virginia Wade

Answer: b. Smith graduated from USC in 1968 and Ashe in 1966 from UCLA, Wade in 1966 (math and physics) from the University of Sussex

18. I have been ranked in the ATP Tour Top 50 for 16 years in a row (including two finishes at no. 49). Who am I?

a. Fernando Verdasco
b. Stan Wawrinka
c. Marin Cilic
d. Feliciano Lopez

Answer: a. Verdasco

19. Who is this reaching up to touch a bit of creeper (ivy) on a side wall of Centre Court at Wimbledon?

a. Tim Smyczek
b. Peter Polansky
c. Rafael Nadal
d. Dominic Thiem

Answer: c. Nadal

20. What’s something that really bugs Bianca Andreescu?

a. People spelling her dog’s name ‘Koko’
b. People forgetting what her middle name is
c. People pronouncing her surname ‘An-dray-es-cu’ instead of ‘An-dress-cu’
d. People asking about the hair tie she sometimes wears on her arm

Answer: c. mispronouncing her surname