Thursday, June 25, 2009

Anna Sergeyevna Kournikova

Born on June 7, 1981
Anna Sergeyevna Kournikova (Russian: Anna_kournikova.ogg Анна Сергеевна Ку́рникова, Anna Sergeevna Kurnikova) is a semi-retired Russian professional tennis player and model. Her celebrity status made her one of the best known tennis players worldwide. At the peak of her fame, fans looking for images of Kournikova made her name one of the most common search strings on the Internet search engine Google.

Has anyone ever looked better in a tennis outfit (we are so grateful for those short white skirts)? Not likely -- Anna Kournikova is sculpted like a goddess. The tennis court was her stage, where she simultaneously (and successfully) flirted with and stunned thousands of admirers. This Russian pinup had the power of filling up arenas when she was scheduled to play. How many women can be credited with the same feat?

Men's magazines like FHM always have included her among the hottest women, and she was named Sexiest Woman in the World in FHM's 100 Sexiest Girls poll in 2002. Her sex appeal has also managed to sell calendars, and the Sports Illustrated issue with Anna Kournikova on the cover was one of the highest-selling issues the magazine has ever published. So it looks like Anna Kournikova's sexiness is unanimous: it doesn't get much hotter than her.

Appeared on July 5, 2004, Forbes Magazine Celebrity 100 list at No. 82 (along with S. Williams at No. 63, V. Williams at No. 77, Henin-Hardenne at No. 81 and Clijsters at No. 84)

Ranked No. 6 on 2003 Top 10 Most-Marketable Female Athletes, as published by Sports Business Daily (determined by a poll of 60 marketers, sponsorship consultants and members of media): No. 1 S. Williams, No. 2 Annika Sorenstam (golf), No. 3 Mia Hamm (soccer); No. 4 V. Williams, No. 5 Lisa Leslie (basketball)

Most popular sports figure of 2000 and 2001, according to Web site searches by Lycos users

Named FHM Magazine's 2002 Sexiest Woman in the World

Featured in the 2004 40th Anniversary Edition of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

In 1986, Anna became a member of the prestigious Spartak Tennis Club, coached by Larissa Preobrazhenskaya. In 1989, at the tender age of eight, Anna began appearing in junior tournaments, and by the following year, was attracting attention from tennis scouts across the world. Anna signed a management deal at age ten and went to Bradenton, Florida to train at Nick Bollettieri's celebrated tennis academy.

Following her arrival in the United States, Anna exploded onto the tennis scene, making her the internationally recognized tennis star she is today. At the age of 14, she went on to win the European Championships and the Italian Open Junior tournament. Anna also beat out the competition to win the prestigious Junior Orange Bowl, becoming the youngest player ever to win the 18 and under division at that tournament. By the end of the year, Anna was crowned the ITF Junior World Champion U-18 and Junior European Champion U-18.

In 1994, Anna Kournikova received a wild card into ITF tournament in Moscow qualifications, but lost to the third seed Sabine Appelmans.

Kournikova debuted in professional tennis at age 14 in the Fed Cup for Russia, the youngest player ever to participate and win. In 1995, she turned pro, and won two ITF titles, in Midland, Michigan and Rockford, Illinois. At age 15, she made her grand slam debut, when she reached the fourth round of the 1996 U.S. Open, only to be stopped by then-top ranked player, Steffi Graf, eventual champion. After this tournament, her ranking jumped from No. 144 to debut in Top 100 at No. 69.

Kournikova was a member of the Russian delegation to the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1996, she was named WTA Newcomer of the Year, and she was ranked No. 57 in the end of the season.

In 2000, Anna Kournikova broke into the top 10, reaching No. 8 in singles. She was also ranked #4 in doubles at the end of the season.

In singles she reached the finals of the Kremlin Cup, where she lost to Martina Hingis. She also reached eight semifinals and seven quarter finals. She was again more successful in doubles. She played the finals of the mixed doubles at the US Open, partnering with Max Mirnyi.

With Julie Halard-Decugis, she won the tournament in Gold Coast, Australia. Partnering with Barbara Schett, she reached the semifinals of the Australian Open. With Natasha Zvereva, she lost in the finals at Indian Wells. They also won at Hamburg. She lost in the finals at San Diego, partnering with Lindsay Davenport. With Martina Hingis, she won at Zürich, the Kremlin Cup, and at Philadelphia and the WTA Championships.

In 2003, Anna Kournikova collected first grand slam match victory in two years at Australian Open. She defeated Henrieta Nagyová in the 1st round, and then lost to Justine Henin-Hardenne in the 2nd round. She withdrew from Tokyo due to sprained back suffered at Australian Open and did not return to Tour until Miami. Kournikova retired in the 1st round of Charleston due to left adductor strain.

She reached the semifinals at ITF tournament in Sea Island, before withdrawing from match versus Maria Sharapova due to adductor injury. She lost in the 1st round of ITF tournament in Charlottesville. She did not compete for rest of season due to continuing back injury

Kournikova's two Grand Slam doubles titles came in 1999 and 2002, both at the Australian Open in the Women's Doubles event with partner Martina Hingis, with whom she played frequently starting in 1999. Kournikova proved a successful doubles player on the professional circuit, winning 16 tournament doubles titles, including two Australian Opens and being a finalist in mixed doubles at the U.S. Open and at Wimbledon, and reaching the No.1 ranking in doubles in the Women's Tennis Association tour rankings. Her pro career doubles record was 200–71. However, her singles career plateaued after 1999. For the most part, she managed to retain her ranking between 10 and 15 (her career high singles ranking was No.8), but her expected finals breakthrough failed to occur; she only reached four finals out of 130 singles tournaments, never in a Grand Slam event, and never won one.

Playing style
  • 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.
  • Kournikova holds her racket in her right hand but uses both hands when she plays backhand shots. She is a good player at the net. She can hit forceful groundstrokes and also drop shots.
  • 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.
Anna Kournikova Quotes

“I think it's really important for me not to forget where I came from.”

"There are a lot of pretty girls. I am a tennis player first of all, that is why I am here, and if wasn`t producing results no one would notice me. "

"When I play, I feel like in a theatre, why should I look ugly then, because I`m a tennis-player? "

"You don`t think people would go on about my looks if I was No. 500 in the world instead of No.12, do you? Anyway, as I keep telling everyone, you can`t blame me for looking like this on purpose. "

"I`ve just done a commercial in the U.S. in which I talk about stocks, shares and bonds. Everyone is amazed. They ask me: `You really know about that stuff or did you just learn it for the commercial?` I tell them I wouldn`t do it unless I understood and had an interest. "

"I have a lot of boyfriends, I want you to write that. Every country I visit, I have a different boyfriend. And I kiss them all. "

"Do I consider myself sexy? It all depends on the way I`m feeling. When I`m happy inside, that`s when I feel most sexy. "

"A court is like a scene, people want to see attractive people."

"I'm like a menu at an expensive restaurant -- you can look at me, but you can't afford me."
- Anna Kournikova

Career Highlights

Winner: 1996 - ITF/Midland-USA, ITF/Rockford-USA.
Finalist (4): 2002 - Shanghai;
2000 - Moscow;
1999 - Hilton Head;
1998 - Miami.

Winner (16): 2002 - Australian Open (w/Hingis),
Shanghai (w/J.Lee);
2001 - Sydney (w/Schett),
Moscow (w/Hingis);
2000 - Season-Ending Championships,
Philadelphia (all w/Hingis),
Gold Coast (w/Halard-Decugis),
Hamburg (w/Zvereva);
1999 - Australian Open,
Season-Ending Championships,
Indian Wells,
Eastbourne (all w/Hingis);
1998 - Tokyo [Princess Cup] (w/Seles).

Finalist (2): 2000 - US Open (w/Mirnyi);
1999 - Wimbledon (w/Bjorkman).

Russian Fed Cup Team 1996-97,
2000. Russian Olympic Team 1996.

Birthday: 6/7/1981
Nickname: Murzik (“My Little Pet” in Russian)
Birthname: Anna Sergeyevna Kournikova
Hookups: Enrique Iglesias, Sergei Federov
Hometown: Moscow, Russia
Assets: fitness, flexibility, tan Russianness
Vices: Hockey Players
Sign: Gemini
Height: 5'8
Job: Tennis Player, Model
Hobbies: Tennis
Ethnicity: White
Country of Origin: Russian Federation
Weight : 56 kg (120 lb)
Turned pro : October 1995
Plays : Right; Two-handed backhand
Career prize money : US$3,584,662
Official website :

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