It’s hard to tell whether it’s a good or bad thing to name a computer virus after you, but it certainly means one thing – you were popular enough for nerds to name something after you. This is really the best summary you can give about Anna Kournikova’s life. It means that at the peak of her career as a Russian tennis player, her fame went beyond the sport. Although she never won many individual titles during her active time as a professional player, she was a prominent name in the sport because of her looks and talent. Who is Anna Kournikova? Read below to learn more about the tennis star.
Anna Kournikova – Bio
Before Maria Sharapova, there was Anna Kournikova. She is a former Russian tennis player who made a name for herself in this sport after moving to the United States. The tennis star was born on June 7, 1981, in Moscow, Russia. Her father, Sergei Kournikova, was a former master wrestler who later became a professor at the University of Physical Culture and Sports in Moscow. Her mother was also an athlete who took part in competitions, especially the 400-meter race. Put simply, Anna was born into a family of athletes.
For a tennis risk icon like Anna, the moment she held her first racket in her hand is significant, and she did so at the age of five, after receiving a racket as a New Year’s gift in 1986. She started training at the age of 5 and joined a children’s program at the age of 6. At the age of 7, she joined a professional academy and at the age of 8, she participated in junior tournaments. In 1989 she moved to the United States and signed a management contract.
Anna Kournikova Professional Career
In the first 8 years of her professional career, she established herself as a force to be reckoned with by winning the European and Italian Open Junior Tournament at the age of 14. At the age of 15, she started competing at the highest level. She played her first major tournament in September 1995 at the WTA Moscow Ladies Open. Although she lost her singles match in the second round, she reached the final of the doubles tournament alongside Alexandra Olsza.
She won her first professional titles in February and March 1996, when she won the ITF titles in Midland, Michigan, and Rockford, Illinois.
In sports, the influence of a coach on a player or team has the ability to determine or interrupt the career of a player or team, and for Anna Kournikova, the engagement of coach Ed Nagel made her career. After her first tournament under Nagel, she climbed to the top 100 in the world rankings and won the WTA Newcomer of the Year award at the end of the 1996 season. She finished the year as the 57th player in the world rankings. Despite a series of defeats during the season, she ended the following season in 32nd place in the world rankings.
After the 1997 season, Anna was successful. She made it into the top 20 players in the world in 16th place and reached her second WTA Tour final in doubles. She reached her first singles final at the Miami Open, but lost to Venus Williams and finished the season as number 10 in doubles.
In the 1999 season, she won her first Grand Slam doubles match at the Australian Open in partnership with Martina Hingis. However, she lost to them in her second WTA Tour final and finished the 1999 season as World Ranked 12th and was placed first in doubles.
After 1999, Anna was never able to take up a serious challenge due to a series of injuries, and although she won her second Grand Slam title in doubles in 2002, she was unable to reach her high points in singles. She retired in 2003.
Partner – Enrique Iglesias, Twins
Anna Kournikova has her appearance as the main attraction. During her career, she became one of the most wanted women in the world. Anna used her popularity to model for various brands. Her popularity also made her private life a matter of interest. After denying a relationship and marriage with Fyodorov, she started dating Enrique Iglesias in 2001.
The couple refused to comment publicly on the nature of their relationship for a long time until Enrique Iglesias was quoted in an interview in 2008 and said he was married to the former tennis star. They are currently still married and have two children, twins – Nicholas and Lucy, born December 16, 2017.
Anna didn’t earn much money with her winnings in tennis. She won two major titles and her winnings amounted to just over $3 million. However, her media image and popularity allowed her to build a net worth of $50 million through modeling and performing activities.