Anna Kournikova : biography
Anna Sergeyevna Kournikova ( born 7 June 1981) is a Russian American retired professional tennis player. Her beauty and celebrity status made her one of the best known tennis stars worldwide, despite her never winning a WTA singles title. At the peak of her fame, fans looking for images of Kournikova made her name one of the most common search strings on Google Search.
Although reaching No. 8 in the world in 2000, she never won a WTA Title in singles. Kournikova achieved greater success playing doubles, where she had at times been the World No. 1 player. With Martina Hingis as her partner, she won Grand Slam titles in Australia in 1999 and 2002. The doubles team referred to themselves as the "Spice Girls of Tennis".
Kournikova’s professional tennis career ended prematurely at the age of 21 due to serious back and spinal problems, including a herniated disk. She lives in Miami Beach, Florida, and plays in occasional exhibitions and in doubles for the St. Louis Aces of World Team Tennis. She was a new trainer for season 12 of the television show The Biggest Loser, replacing Jillian Michaels, but did not return for season 13. In addition to her tennis and television work, Kournikova serves as a Global Ambassador for Population Services International’s Five & Alive program, which addresses health crises facing children under the age of five and their families.
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 plays right-handed with a two-handed backhand. She is a great 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 by Susan Holden (2001) (ISBN 978-1-84222-416-8 / ISBN 978-1-84222-416-8)
- Anna Kournikova (Women Who Win) by Connie Berman (2001) (ISBN 978-0-7910-6529-7 / ISBN 978-0-7910-6529-7)
Kournikova was in a relationship with fellow Russian, Pavel Bure, an NHL ice hockey player. The two met in 1999 when Kournikova was still linked to Bure’s former Russian teammate Sergei Fedorov. Bure and Kournikova were reported to have been engaged in 2000 after a reporter took a photo of them together in a Florida restaurant where Bure supposedly asked Kournikova to marry him. As the story made headlines in Russia, where they were both heavily followed in the media as celebrities, Bure and Kournikova both denied any engagement. Kournikova, 10 years younger than Bure, was 18 years old at the time. The following year, Kournikova and Fedorov were married in Moscow. They were soon divorced, however. Fedorov claimed he and Kournikova were married in 2001, but later divorced in 2003. Kournikova’s representatives deny any marriage to Fedorov; however, Fedorov’s agent Pat Brisson claims that although he does not know when they got married, he knew "Fedorov was married".
Kournikova started dating pop star Enrique Iglesias in late 2001 (she appeared in his video, "Escape"), and rumors that the couple had secretly married circulated in 2003 and again in 2005. Kournikova herself has consistently refused to directly confirm or deny the status of her personal relationships. In May 2007, Iglesias was quoted in the New York Sun that he had no intention of marrying Kournikova and settling down because they had split up. The singer later denied the quote. In June 2008, Iglesias was quoted by the Daily Star as having married Kournikova the previous year and subsequently separated. In an interview with Graham Norton in 2010, Kournikova confirmed that she and Iglesias have been together for over eight years but have no plans to marry in the near future. The couple have invested in a $20 million home to be built on a private island in Miami.