Anna Sergeyevna Kournikova is a Russian former professional tennis player. Her 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. Take a look below for 33 more fun and interesting facts about Anna Kournikova.
1. Despite never winning a singles title, she reached No. 8 in the world in 2000.
2. She achieved greater success playing doubles, where she was at times the world No. 1 player.
3. 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.
4. They referred to themselves as the “Spice Girls of Tennis”.
5. Kournikova retired at the age of 21 due to serious back and spinal problems, including a herniated disk.
6. She lives in Miami Beach, Florida, and plays in occasional exhibitions and in doubles for the St. Louis Aces of World Team Tennis.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. Kournikova’s father, Sergei Kournikov, a former Greco-Roman wrestling champion, eventually earned a Ph.D. and was a professor at the University of Physical Culture and Sport in Moscow.
10. As of 2001, he was still a part-time martial arts instructor there.
11. Her mother Alla had been a 400-meter runner.
12. Her younger brother, Allan, is a youth golf world champion who was featured in the 2013 documentary film “The Short Game.”
13. 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”.
14. Kournikova received her first tennis racket as a New Year gift in 1986 at age five.
15. Describing her early regimen, she said, “I played two times a week from age six. It was a children’s 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.”
16. In 1986, Kournikova became a member of the Spartak Tennis Club, coached by Larissa Preobrazhenskaya.
17. 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.
18. She signed a management deal at age ten and went to Bradenton, Florida, to train at Nick Bollettieri’s celebrated tennis academy.
19. Kournikova plays right-handed with a two-handed backhand.
20. She is a great player at the net.
21. She can hit forceful ground-strokes and also drop shots.
22. Her playing style fits the profile for a doubles player, and is complemented by her height.
23. She has been compared to such doubles specialists as Pam Shriver and Peter Fleming.
24. 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.
25. 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.
26. Fedorov claimed he and Kournikova were married in 2001, and divorced in 2003.
27. 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”.
28. Kournikova started dating pop star Enrique Iglesias in late 2001. She has consistently refused to directly confirm or deny the status of her personal relationships.
29. 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.
30. They had twins, Nicholas and Lucy, on Saturday, 16 December 2017, at South Miami Hospital.
31. A variation of a White Russian made with skim milk is known as an Anna Kournikova.
32. A video game featuring Kournikova’s licensed appearance, titled Anna Kournikova’s Smash Court Tennis, was developed by Namco and released for the PlayStation in Japan and Europe in November 1998.
33. The Texas Hold ‘Em opening hand of Ace-King off suit is sometimes referred to as an Anna Kournikova – both for the initials on the cards and because the hand supposedly looks good, but does not win much.