Anna Kournikova

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Anna Kournikova : biography

7 June 1981 –

At the start of the 1999 season, Kournikova advanced to the fourth round in singles before losing to Mary Pierce. However, Kournikova won her first doubles Grand Slam title, partnering Martina Hingis. The two defeated Lindsay Davenport and Natasha Zvereva in the final. At the Tier I Family Circle Cup, Kournikova reached her second WTA Tour final, but lost to Martina Hingis. She then defeated Jennifer Capriati, Lindsay Davenport and Patty Schnyder on her route to the Bausch & Lomb Championships semifinals, losing to Ruxandra Dragomir. At The French Open, Kournikova reached the fourth round before losing to eventual champion Steffi Graf. Once the grass-court season commenced in England, Kournikova lost to Nathalie Tauziat in the semifinals in Eastbourne. At Wimbledon, Kournikova lost to Venus Williams in the fourth round. She also reached the final in mixed doubles, partnering with Jonas Björkman, but they lost to Leander Paes and Lisa Raymond. Kournikova again qualified for year-end WTA Tour Championships, but lost to Mary Pierce in the first round, and ended the season as World No. 12.

While Kournikova had a successful singles season, she was even more successful in doubles. After their victory at the Australian Open, she and Martina Hingis won tournaments in Indian Wells, Rome, Eastbourne and the WTA Tour Championshiops, and reached the final of The French Open where they lost to Serena and Venus Williams. Partnering with Elena Likhovtseva, Kournikova also reached the final in Stanford. On 22 November 1999 she reached the World No. 1 ranking in doubles, and ended the season at this ranking. Anna Kournikova and Martina Hingis were presented with the WTA Award for Doubles Team of the Year.

Kournikova opened her 2000 season winning the Gold Coast Open doubles tournament partnering with Julie Halard. She then reached the singles semifinals at the Medibank International Sydney, losing to Lindsay Davenport. At the 2000 Australian Open, she reached the fourth round in singles and the semifinals in doubles. That season, Kournikova reached eight semifinals (Sydney, Scottsdale, Stanford, San Diego, Luxembourg, Leipzig and 2000 WTA Tour Championships), seven quarterfinals (Gold Coast, Tokyo, Amelia Island, Hamburg, Eastbourne, Zürich and Philadelphia) and one final. On 20 November 2000 she broke into top 10 for the first time, reaching No. 8. She was also ranked No. 4 in doubles at the end of the season. Kournikova was once again, more successful in doubles. She reached the final of the 2000 US Open in mixed doubles, partnering with Max Mirnyi, but they lost to Jared Palmer and Arantxa Sánchez Vicario. She also won six doubles titles – Gold Coast (with Julie Halard), Hamburg (with Natasha Zvereva), Filderstadt, Zürich, Philadelphia and the 2000 WTA Tour Championships (with Martina Hingis).

2001–2003: Injuries and final years

Her 2001 season was dominated by injury, including a left foot stress fracture which forced her withdrawal from twelve tournaments, including the French Open and Wimbledon. She underwent surgery in April. She reached her second career grand slam quarterfinals, at the Australian Open. Kournikova then withdrew from several events due to continuing problems with her left foot and did not return until Leipzig. With Barbara Schett, she won the doubles title in Sydney. She then lost in the finals in Tokyo, partnering with Iroda Tulyaganova, and at San Diego, partnering with Martina Hingis. Hingis and Kournikova also won the Kremlin Cup. At the end of the 2001 season, she was ranked No. 74 in singles and No. 26 in doubles.

Kournikova was quite successful in 2002. She reached the semifinals of Auckland, Tokyo, Acapulco and San Diego, and the finals of China Open, losing to Anna Smashnova. This was Kournikova’s last singles finals. With Martina Hingis, Anna Kournikova lost in the finals of Sydney, but they won their second grand slam title together, the Australian Open in women’s doubles. They also lost in the quarterfinals of the US Open. With Chanda Rubin, Anna Kournikova played the semifinals of Wimbledon, but they lost to Serena and Venus Williams. Partnering Janet Lee, she won the Shanghai title. At the end of 2002 season, she was ranked No. 35 in singles and No. 11 in doubles.