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Anna Kournikova Biography

Bollettieri Protege, Wimbledon Semifinalist, Off-court Headlines, Chronology, Awards And Accomplishments, Seles Defends HerSELECTED WRITINGS BY KOURNIKOVA:


Russian tennis player

Anna Kournikova is arguably the most marketable woman in sports, despite having won no WTA Tour

Anna Kournikova

singles tournaments. "Anna Kournikova is sex with a tennis racket attached," Bud Collins, longtime expert in the sport, said on ESPN Classic's Sports Century series. Kournikova has only once reached the semifinals of a Grand Slam event, yet Web sites related to the attractive young Russian woman annually receive among the most "hits" worldwide. ESPN televised the filming of her skin-revealing 2003 calendar five times during Christmas week, 2002. It drew a 1.1 rating, considered high for an ESPN non-event telecast.

"Kournikova is of the post-feminist generation, one more likely to take its cues from MTV, Madonna and Camille Paglia than Ms.," Peter Bodo wrote on the ESPN.com Web site. "She also is of a realistic generation, and in a world in which sex sells—no matter what anyone has said or done so far—she has what the market wants. Having grown up relatively poor in a confused and desolate place (post-Soviet Russia), she is more than glad to exploit her natural gifts for personal gain." In 2000, she was one of five female tennis players named to Forbes magazine's Power 100 in Fame and Fortune list at No. 58.

Kournikova, beset by injuries in 2001 and 2002, does have two Grand Slam women's doubles titles. She and Martina Hingis teamed together to capture the Australian Open in 1999 and 2002 (they no longer play together). She was ranked as high as eighth among singles in May, 2001, before injuring her ankle. As 2002 ended, Kournikova was playing Monica Seles in exhibition matches. In tune-ups for the January, 2003 Australian Open, she was 35th in the Women's Tennis Association rankings. As the year 2003 began, Kournikova's pro singles career tournament drought stood at 115.


(With Greg Brown) Make Your Point, Dallas: Taylor, 2001.

Sketch by Paul Burton

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Famous Sports StarsTennis