|Anna Sergeyevna Kournikova
|Date of Birth
|June 7, 1981
|1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
|Right-handed counterpuncher (two-handed backhand)
Anna Kournikova is a former tennis player from Russia, who was at one point of time the biggest female star in the sport.
Kournikova was a moderately accomplished singles player but a hugely successful doubles player, and her partnership with Martina Hingis was widely praised for its effectiveness. She achieved worldwide popularity through her looks and modeling assignments, and to this date remains one of the most highly searched athletes on the internet.
Best finish at each of the four Grand Slams - singles:
Australian Open: Quarterfinalist (2001)
French Open: 4th Round (1998, 1999)
Wimbledon: Semifinalist (1997)
US Open: 4th Round (1996, 1998)
Highest Ranking: No. 8
Best finish at each of the four Grand Slams - doubles:
Australian Open: Champion (1999, 2002)
French Open: Runner-up (1999)
Wimbledon: Semifinalist (2000, 2002)
US Open: Quarterfinalist (1996, 2002)
Highest Ranking: No. 1
Style of play
Kournikova was a typical modern baseliner in singles, moving the ball around the court with pace and spin. Her game was predicated on a strong return and deep groundstrokes, and she also approached the net whenever she got the opportunity.
In doubles, Kournikova spent a lot more time in the forecourt, looking to intercept the ball and end the point with an angled volley. She also used the lob and drop shot frequently, and sliced her backhand to set up volleys for her partner at the net.
Strengths and weaknesses
Kournikova was consistent with her groundstrokes, and didn't make a lot of unforced errors. She was also very quick around the court, and could get ball after ball back in play, eventually forcing an error from the opponent.
Kournikova's extensive doubles play made her a very competent volleyer, and in later years she made use of her net game to play more attacking singles tennis.
Kournikova's serve was not the greatest, and the power in her groundstrokes could also sometimes fall short of the elite level.
Kournikova was born in Moscow, and both her parents were professional athletes. Her father Sergei Kournikov was a wrestling champion, while her mother Alla was a runner.
Kournikova started playing tennis at the age of five, and moved to Florida in 1991 (at the age of 10) to train at the Nick Bollettieri academy.
After she turned pro Kournikova signed endorsement deals with a whole bunch of brands, and became the postergirl of women's tennis. She continues to be a widely followed celebrity figure even after her retirement, and has also appeared in Hollywood movies.
Kournikova has been in a relationship with global superstar Enrique Iglesias since 2001. The couple have two children - twins born in December 2017.
Kournikova may not have achieved a lot in singles, and her failure to win a WTA title is frequently highlighted by her critics. However, her doubles accomplishments cannot be ignored, and the fact that she is a two-time Grand Slam champion makes her worthy of her fame.
Kournikova brought worldwide attention to tennis, even if it wasn't necessarily through her on-court exploits, and for that she will always be held in high regard by the sport's historians. She produced sellout crowds whenever and wherever she played, which also helped the revenues of women's tennis greatly.
Even though she retired years ago, Kournikova's fan following continues to remain dizzyingly high. It is unlikely that her impact on tennis will be forgotten any time soon.
Social media presence:
Anna Kournikova Instagram: @annakournikova