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 Anna Kournikova

Born:   June 7, 1981, in Moscow

Famous tennis player and model


Anna Sergeevna Kournikova was born in Moscow June 7, 1981. She began playing tennis at the age of five. In 1991 Anna accompanied by her mother moved to Florida to train at Nick Bollettieri's celebrated tennis academy and to become a celebrity.

In 1994 Anna became a professional tennis player. After success in Fed Cup and winning two ITF titles at the age of 14 and reaching the fourth round the 1996 U.S. Open at the age of 15, Anna Kournikova happened to be a member of Russian Delegation to the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1996, she was named WTA Newcomer of the Year, and was ranked No. 57 in the end of the season.

1997 Anna reached semi-finals of Wimbledon and lost to the eventual champion and partner in doubles, Martina Hingis. In doubles her best results were the semifinals of the Italian Open (partnering Elena Likhovtseva) and the Los Angeles Open (partnering Ai Sugiyama).

1998 was her breakthrough year, when Anna Kournikova broke into the WTA's top 20 rankings for the first time, when she was ranked No. 16. She also scored impressive victories over Martina Hingis, Lindsay Davenport, Steffi Graf and Monica Seles. Besides these victories and some equally impressive failures in this year Kournikova reached her first doubles final, partnering with Larisa Neiland. That was the final of the Paris Open, where they lost to Sabine Appelmans and Miriam Oremans in three sets. But at the end of the season, she was ranked No10 in doubles.

On January 31, Anna Kournikova and Martina Hingis won a grand slam title in women's doubles. They defeated Lindsay Davenport and Natasha Zvereva at the finals of the Australian Open. She was more successful in doubles. Partnering Martina Hingis, she won the titles in Indian Wells, the Rome, Eastbourne and the WTA Championships, and played the finals of the French Open and Stanford (partnering with Elena Likhovtseva). At the end of the year, Anna Kournikova and Martina Hingis were presented with the WTA Award for Doubles Team of the Year. She lost in the final of the mixed doubles at Wimbledon, partnering Jonas Björkman. In 2000, Anna Kournikova broke into the top 10, reaching No. 8 in singles. She was also ranked No4 in doubles at the end of the season.

In singles she reached the finals of get injured, where she lost to Martina Hingis. She also reached eight semifinals and seven quarter finals. She was again more successful in doubles. With Martina Hingis, she won at Zürich, the Kremlin Cup, and at Philadelphia and the WTA Championships (for the second time). In 2001 Anna got injured. Nevertheless she won Kremlin Cup with Martina Hingis.


In 2002 Kournikova was quite successful. She reached the semifinals of Auckland, Tokyo, Acapulco and San Diego, and the finals of Shanghai. In this season Anna Kournikova and Martina Hingis won their second grand slam title together, Australian Open in women's doubles.

In 2003 Anna retired from professional sport after a few back injuries. Now Anna Kournikova takes part in exhibition matches for charitable causes with other former tennis stars.

As a player, Kournikova was noted for her footspeed and aggressive baseline play, and excellent angles and dropshots; however, her relatively flat, high-risk groundstrokes tended to produce frequent errors, and her serve was sometimes unreliable in singles. Her playing style fits the profile for a doubles player, and is complemented by her height. She has been compared to such doubles specialists as Pam Shriver and Peter Fleming.

However, Anna Kournikova is famous not only as a tennis player. During Kournikova's debut at the 1996 U.S. Open at the age of 15, the world noticed her beauty, and soon pictures of her appeared in numerous magazines worldwide. Kournikova was named one of People's 50 Most Beautiful People in 1998, 2000, 2002, and 2003. In the same year there were rumors that Enrike Iglesias was Anna's husband. He was not the only one who was supposed to be her partner.

Anna Kournikova became one of the most famous Russian tennis players having won no tournament in singles. Maybe because of this circumstance coupled with her attractive appearance the big slick (combination of A and K in poker) is sometimes named Anna Kournikova: this promising-looking combination wins very seldom.


Yulia Buzykina



Tags: Russian sport Russian sportsmen Russian tennis Anna Kournikova  

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