Anna Kournikova is Best Known For Her success as a professional tennis player, especially in the doubles category, in which she managed to reach the top of the rankings.
Being one of the most glamorous and popular female tennis players of her generation.
Anna Kournikova former tennis player
Born Name Anna Sergeyevna Kournikova
Nick Name Murzik
Occupation Former professional tennis player
Turned pro October 1995
Retired May 2007
Born: June 07, 1981, 38 years and 4 months, Moscow, Russia
Sun Sign Gemini
Hair Color Blonde
Eye Color Blue
Height 5 ft 8 in or 173 cm
Measurements 36-25-36 in or 91.5-63.5-91.5 cm
Bra size 34B
Plays Right-Handed (Two-Handed Backhand)
Anna Kournikova graduated from the Russian High School in 1997. She then got enrolled at the Russian University of Physical Culture.
Father – Sergei Kournikova (Former Greco-Roman Wrestling Champion, former professor at the University of Physical Culture and Sport and part-time martial arts instructor)
Mother – Alla Kournikova (Former 400-meter runner)
Siblings – Allan Kournikova (Younger Brother) (Youth Golf World Champion)
Others – Nikolay Yakovlevich Kournikov (Paternal Grandfather), Anna Pavlovna (Paternal Grandmother)
Anna Sergeyevna Kournikova appearance and celebrity status made her one of the best known tennis stars worldwide. 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.
Despite never winning a singles title, she reached No. 8 in the world in 2000. She achieved greater success playing doubles, where she was at times the world No. 1 player. With Martina Hingis as her partner, she won Grand Slam titles in Australia in 1999 and 2002, and the WTA Championships in 1999 and 2000. They referred to themselves as the Spice Girls of Tennis.
Kournikova retired 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 Five andamp; Alive program, which addresses health crises facing children under the age of five and their families.
Anna Kournikovas father, Sergei Kournikov (born 1961), a former Greco-Roman wrestling champion, eventually earned a PhD and was a professor at the University of Physical Culture and Sport in Moscow. As of 2001, he was still a part-time martial arts instructor there. Her mother Alla (born 1963) had been a 400-metre runner. Her younger brother, Allan, is a youth golf world champion who was featured in the 2013 documentary film The Short Game.
Sergei Kournikov has said, We were young and we liked the clean, physical life, so Anna was in a good environment for sport from the beginning.
Kournikova received her first tennis racquet as a New Year gift in 1986 at age five. Describing her early regimen, she said, I played two times a week from age six. It was a children program. And it was just for fun; my parents didn’t know I was going to play professionally, they just wanted me to do something because I had lots of energy. It was only when I started playing well at seven that I went to a professional academy. I would go to school, and then my parents would take me to the club, and I’d spend the rest of the day there just having fun with the kids. In 1986, Kournikova became a member of the Spartak Tennis Club, coached by Larissa Preobrazhenskaya. In 1989, at the age of eight, Kournikova began appearing in junior tournaments, and by the following year, was attracting attention from tennis scouts across the world. She signed a management deal at age ten and went to Bradenton, Florida, to train at Nick Bollettieri celebrated tennis academy.
1989–1997: Early years and breakthrough
Following her arrival in the United States, she became prominent on the tennis scene. At 14, she won the European Championships and the Italian Open Junior tournament. In December 1995, she became the youngest player to win the 18-and-under division of the Junior Orange Bowl tennis tournament. By the end of the year, Kournikova was crowned the ITF Junior World Champion U-18 and Junior European Champion U-18.
Earlier, in September 1995, she received a wildcard into the WTA tournament in Moscow, the Moscow Ladies Open, qualifications and played her way through the qualifying rounds before losing in the second round of the main draw to third-seeded Sabine Appelmans. There at the 1995 Moscow Ladies Open Kournikova already reached her first WTA Tour doubles final. Partnering with 1995 Wimbledon girls’ champion in both singles and doubles Aleksandra Olsza, she lost the title match to Meredith McGrath and Larisa Savchenko-Neiland.
In February–March 1996, Kournikova won two ITF titles, in Midland, Michigan and Rockford, Illinois. Still 14, in April 1996 she debuted at the Fed Cup for Russia, the youngest player ever to participate and win a match.
In 1996, she started playing under a new coach, Ed Nagel. Her six-year tenure with Ed would produce terrific results. At 15, she made her Grand Slam debut, when she reached the fourth round of the 1996 US Open, only to be stopped by then-top ranked player Steffi Graf, the eventual champion. After this tournament, Kournikova ranking jumped from No. 144 to debut in the 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.
Kournikova entered the 1997 Australian Open as world No. 67, where she lost in the first round to world No. 12, Amanda Coetzer. At the Italian Open, Kournikova lost to Amanda Coetzer in the second round. However, she reached the semifinals in the doubles partnering with Elena Likhovtseva, before losing to the sixth seeds Mary Joe Fernández and Patricia Tarabini.
At the French Open, Kournikova made it to the third round before losing to world No. 1, Martina Hingis. She also reached the third round in doubles with Likhovtseva. At the Wimbledon Championships, Kournikova became only the second woman in the open era to reach the semifinals in her Wimbledon debut, the first being Chris Evert in 1972. There she lost to eventual champion Martina Hingis.
At the US Open, she lost in the second round to the eleventh seed Irina Spîrlea. Partnering with Likhovtseva, she reached the third round of the women doubles event. Kournikova played her last WTA Tour event of 1997 at Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Filderstadt, losing to Amanda Coetzer in the second round of singles, and in the first round of doubles to Lindsay Davenport and Jana Novotná partnering with Likhovtseva. She broke into the top 50 on 19 May, and was ranked No. 32 in singles and No. 41 in doubles at the end of the season.
1998–2000: Success and stardom
In 1998, Kournikova broke into the WTA top 20 rankings for the first time, when she was ranked No. 16. At the Australian Open, Kournikova lost in the third round to world No. 1 player, Martina Hingis. She also partnered with Larisa Savchenko-Neiland in women doubles, and they lost to eventual champions Hingis and Mirjana Lučić in the second round. Although she lost in the second round of the Paris Open to Anke Huber in singles, Kournikova reached her second doubles WTA Tour final, partnering with Larisa Savchenko-Neiland. They lost to Sabine Appelmans and Miriam Oremans. Kournikova and Savchenko-Neiland reached their second consecutive final at the Linz Open, losing to Alexandra Fusai and Nathalie Tauziat. At the Miami Open, Kournikova reached her first WTA Tour singles final, before losing to Venus Williams in the final.
Kournikova then reached two consecutive quarterfinals, at Amelia Island and the Italian Open, losing respectively to Lindsay Davenport and Martina Hingis. At the German Open, she reached the semi-finals in both singles and doubles, partnering with Larisa Savchenko-Neiland. At the French Open Kournikova had her best result at this tournament, making it to the fourth round before losing to Jana Novotná. She also reached her first Grand Slam doubles semifinals, losing with Savchenko-Neiland to Lindsay Davenport and Natasha Zvereva. During her quarterfinals match at the grass-court Eastbourne Open versus Steffi Graf, Kournikova injured her thumb, which would eventually force her to withdraw from the 1998 Wimbledon Championships. However, she won that match, but then withdrew from her semifinals match against Arantxa Sánchez Vicario. Kournikova returned for the Du Maurier Open and made it to the third round, before losing to Conchita Martínez. At the US Open Kournikova reached the fourth round before losing to Arantxa Sánchez Vicario. Her strong year qualified her for the year-end 1998 WTA Tour Championships, but she lost to Monica Seles in the first round. However, with Seles, she won her first WTA doubles title, in Tokyo, beating Mary Joe Fernández and Arantxa Sánchez Vicario in the final. At the end of the season, she was ranked No. 10 in doubles.
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 andamp; Lomb Championships semi-finals, 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 semi-finals in Eastbourne. At Wimbledon, Kournikova lost to Venus Williams in the fourth round. She also reached the final in mixed doubles, partnering with Jonas Bjorkman, 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 Australian Open, she reached the fourth round in singles and the semi-finals in doubles. That season, Kournikova reached eight semifinals (Sydney, Scottsdale, Stanford, San Diego, Luxembourg, Leipzig and Tour Championships), seven quarterfinals (Gold Coast, Tokyo, Amelia Island, Hamburg, Eastbourne, Zurich 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 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, Zurich, Philadelphia and the 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 final of the China Open, losing to Anna Smashnova. This was Kournikova last singles final. With Martina Hingis, she lost in the final at Sydney, but they won their second Grand Slam title together, the Australian Open. They also lost in the quarterfinals of the US Open. With Chanda Rubin, Kournikova played the semi-finals 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.
In 2003, Anna Kournikova collected her first Grand Slam match victory in two years at the 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 a sprained back suffered at the Australian Open and did not return to Tour until Miami. On 9 April, in what would be the final WTA match of her career, Kournikova retired in the 1st round of the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, due to a left adductor strain. Her singles world ranking was 67. She reached the semifinals at the ITF tournament in Sea Island, before withdrawing from a match versus Maria Sharapova due to the adductor injury. She lost in the 1st round of the ITF tournament in Charlottesville. She did not compete for the rest of the season due to a continuing back injury. At the end of the 2003 season and her professional career, she was ranked No. 305 in singles and No. 176 in doubles.
Kournikova two Grand Slam doubles titles came in 1999 and 2002, both at the Australian Open in the Women Doubles event with partner Martina Hingis. 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 US Open and at Wimbledon, and reaching the No. 1 ranking in doubles in the WTA 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.
Her singles record is 209–129. Her final playing years were marred by a string of injuries, especially back injuries, which caused her ranking to erode gradually. As a personality Kournikova was among the most common search strings for both articles and images in her prime.
2004–present: Exhibitions and World Team Tennis
Kournikova has not played on the WTA Tour since 2003, but still plays exhibition matches for charitable causes. In late 2004, she participated in three events organized by Elton John and by fellow tennis players Serena Williams and Andy Roddick. In January 2005, she played in a doubles charity event for the Indian Ocean tsunami with John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, and Chris Evert. In November 2005, she teamed up with Martina Hingis, playing against Lisa Raymond and Samantha Stosur in the WTT finals for charity. Kournikova is also a member of the St. Louis Aces in the World Team Tennis (WTT), playing doubles only.
In September 2008, Kournikova showed up for the 2008 Nautica Malibu Triathlon held at Zuma Beach in Malibu, California. The Race raised funds for children Hospital Los Angeles. She won that race for women K-Swiss team. On 27 September 2008, Kournikova played exhibition mixed doubles matches in Charlotte, North Carolina, partnering with Tim Wilkison and Karel Nováček.] Kournikova and Wilkison defeated Jimmy Arias and Chanda Rubin, and then Kournikova and Novacek defeated Rubin and Wilkison.
On 12 October 2008, Anna Kournikova played one exhibition match for the annual charity event, hosted by Billie Jean King and Elton John, and raised more than $400,000 for the Elton John AIDS Foundation and Atlanta AIDS Partnership Fund. She played doubles with Andy Roddick (they were coached by David Chang) versus Martina Navratilova and Jesse Levine (coached by Billie Jean King); Kournikova and Roddick won.
Kournikova competed alongside John McEnroe, Tracy Austin and Jim Courier at the Legendary Night, which was held on 2 May 2009, at the Turning Stone Event Center in Verona, New York. The exhibition included a mixed doubles match of McEnroe and Austin against Courier and Kournikova.
In 2008, she was named a spokesperson for K-Swiss. In 2005, Kournikova stated that if she were 100% fit, she would like to come back and compete again.
In June 2010, Kournikova reunited with her doubles partner Martina Hingis to participate in competitive tennis for the first time in seven years in the Invitational Ladies Doubles event at Wimbledon. On 29 June 2010 they defeated the British pair Samantha Smith and Anne Hobbs.
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.
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 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.
Fedorov claimed he and Kournikova were married in 2001, and divorced in 2003. Kournikova representatives deny any marriage to Fedorov; however, Fedorov 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). She has consistently refused to directly confirm or deny the status of her personal relationships. In June 2008, Iglesias was quoted by the Daily Star as having married Kournikova the previous year and subsequently separated. The couple have invested in a $20 million home to be built on a private island in Miami. They had twins, Nicholas and Lucy, on Saturday, 16 December 2017, at South Miami Hospital.
Most of Kournikova fame has come from the publicity surrounding her looks and her personal life. During her debut at the 1996 US Open at the age of 15, the western world noticed her beauty, and soon pictures of her appeared in numerous magazines worldwide.
In 2000, Kournikova became the new face for Berlei shock absorber sports bras, and appeared in the only the ball should bounce billboard campaign. Following that, she was cast by the Farrelly brothers for a minor role in the 2000 film Me, Myself andamp; Irene starring Jim Carrey and Renee Zellweger. Photographs of her have appeared on covers of various publications, including men magazines, such as one in the much-publicized 2004 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, where she posed in bikinis and swimsuits, as well as in FHM and Maxim. Kournikova was named one of People 50 Most Beautiful People in 1998 and was voted hottest female athlete on ESPN.com. In 2002 she also placed first in FHM 100 Sexiest Women in the World in US and UK editions. By contrast, ESPN – citing the degree of hype as compared to actual accomplishments as a singles player – ranked Kournikova 18th in its 25 Biggest Sports Flops of the Past 25 Years. Kournikova was also ranked No. 1 in the ESPN Classic series Who number 1? when the series featured sport most overrated athletes.
She continued to be the most searched athlete on the Internet through 2008 even though she had retired from the professional tennis circuit years earlier. After slipping from first to sixth among athletes in 2009, she moved back up to third place among athletes in terms of search popularity in 2010.
In October 2010, Kournikova headed to NBC The Biggest Loser where she led the contestants in a tennis-workout challenge. In May 2011, it was announced that Kournikova would join The Biggest Loser as a regular celebrity trainer in season 12. She did not return for season 13.
In November 2010, she became an American citizen. In 2011, Men Health named her one of the 100 Hottest Women of All-Time, ranking her at No. 29.
Anna Kournikova was represented by
Lisa Jacobson of Jacobson Brand Management andamp; Consulting.
Anna Kournikova had a lucrative endorsement deal with sportswear giant, Adidas. As part of the deal, she appeared in a series of commercials for the brand.
The other brands she has done promotional work for include –
Lycos search engine (TV commercial as well as print advert)
K-Swiss athletic shoes and apparel (Print advert)
Charles Schwab (TV commercial)
Berlei sports bra
First Tennis Match
She made her professional debut in the Fed Cup while representing Russia. She was 14 years old at that time, creating the record of being the youngest player to participate and win the match in the competition.
In 2000, she made her first film appearance in the role of a “Motel Manager” in the comedy flick, Me, Myself andamp; Irene.
First TV Show
In a 1997 episode, she was seen on the talk show The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
Anna Kournikova has a consistent and regular workout regime in place to keep her lean figure in shape. She hits the gym regularly to keep her muscles toned but she is not too hung up on it. So, even if she is not going to gym, she still makes sure that she is working out.
Having grown up with little access to gym and training facilities in the Soviet Union, Anna states that all you need is sneakers for a good running session. Also, you can get a good cardio workout by jumping rope for about 10 minutes.
When she hits the gym, she prefers to focus on the core to alleviate her back problem. She performs a lot of variations of planks and core exercises on the stability ball. If she has sufficient time, she tries to build a workout routine including squats, lunges and free weights.
When it comes to diet, she is a big fan of power breakfasts. She believes that a healthy breakfast should meet one-third of your daily energy needs. Her breakfast choices vary from French toasts with raisins to sesame bagels with two slices of mozzarella and one serving of a fruit.
Overall, she goes for 3 meals and 2 snacks per day. She doesn’t mind eating carbs in the day, however, after dusk, she sticks to lean and green.
Anna Kournikova Favorite Things
Food – Chocolate, ice cream, potatoes and pasta
Beauty Brand – Neutrogena
Clothing Items – Leather jackets and a tailored blazer
Clothing Retail Websites – Shopbop, Singer22, Saks, Revolve Clothing, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales
Anna Kournikova Facts
In May 2002, FHM Australia and FHM America declared her the sexiest woman in the world after conducting a poll.
In 1998, People magazine included her on the list of “50 Most Beautiful People”.
Her parents had no intention of making her a professional tennis player at the start. Anna was an energetic child and they figured tennis would be a better outlet for extra energy.
In 2003, she debuted a tattoo of a sun on her lower back at the Australian open. In a bizarre interview, she denied it was a tattoo and claimed it was a heat patch used for back pain.
In 2005 and 2011, the Maxim magazine had placed her on #29 and #19 respectively on the “Hot 100 list”.
For her tremendous success at the start of her professional career, she was declared WTA Newcomer of the Year in 1996.
In 2008, Google announced that she was the most searched athlete on the Internet. The next year, she was down to the sixth spot before managing to rise to the third spot in 2010.
At the age of 5, she received her first tennis racquet as a New Year gift. By the age of 7, she had started taking lessons at a professional academy.
The Men Health magazine placed her on the 29th spot on the list of “100 Hottest Women of All-Time” in 2011.
She signed her first management deal at the age of 10 and moved to Miami to take training at celebrated tennis coach, Nick Bollettieri tennis academy.
In recognition of her lack of achievements as a singles player, ESPN placed her on the 18th spot in the list featuring “25 Biggest Sports Flops of the Past 25 Years”.
In 1997, she became the second woman after Chris Evert to reach the semi-final stage of the debut Wimbledon Championship. But, she became the first youngest professional to reach semi-finals at the age of 15.
She decided to retire from the professional game at the very young age of 21 after a series of back and spinal problems made it impossible for her to compete any longer.
She has worked as a global ambassador for Five andamp; Alive, which is a program launched by Population Services International to battle health problems faced by children below the age of 5.
In October 2018, Anna long-time partner Enrique Iglesias claimed that their sex life had improved a lot after welcoming twins in December 2017.