Anna Kournikova Biography

Name: Anna Kournikova

Height: 170 centimetres (5’8″)

Weight: 55 kg (123 lbs)

Date Of Birth: June 7, 1981

Place Of Birth: Moscow, Russia

Lives: Miami, Florida, USA

Coach: Pavel Slozil

Russian-born Anna Kournikova left Moscow at the age of 9 to come to
Nick Bollettieri’s Tennis Academy in Florida, USA – the same academy
which has also produced Monica Seles and Andre Agassi.

She was the world’s topped-ranked junior at the end of 1995, shortly
after Martina Hingis joined the professional ranks. Kournikova herself
turned professional in 1996, and competed in her first grand slam at the
US Open that year. She performed exceptionally well, defeating seeded
players before finally falling to eventual champion Steffi Graf in the
4th round.

In 1997, she affirmed her position amongst the world’s top players,
highlighted by a semi-final appearance at her first Wimbledon as a
professional. In 1998 she further surged up the rankings, with the highlight
being an appearance in the final of the prestigious Lipton Championships,
defeating four top 10 players consecutively along the way. Soon after, she
scored her first victory over world number 1 Hingis, and just prior to
Wimbledon she broke into the world Top 10 for the first time in her career.
A thumb injury before Wimbledon (suffered in a match where she defeated
Graf) ruled her out of tournaments for the next few months, and she has
since had a tough time regaining her momentum. 1999 began with a
controversial Australian Open, her play marred by poor form with her service.
However, she did manage to make the 4th round in singles (her best result)
as well as winning the doubles championships with Hingis as her partner.

Anna says her game wasn’t modelled after any one player, although lists
Graf and Seles as players she has learnt from, watching television. Now
at 18 years of age, she is developing her power game and exhibiting
some fearful groundstrokes coupled with superb court mentality.

Anna is indeed superstar material, with glamourous looks (she says if
not for tennis, her passion would be acting) and an aggressive all-court
game to match. In fact, she has had an agent since the age of 10.
She is currently on the verge of the world Top 10, and others forsee
her and Hingis (along with the Williams sisters) battling it out for world
number 1 in the not-too-distant future. Regardless, Anna Kournikova
will play a great role in the future of women’s tennis.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

SINGLES WINNER:

1996 – ITF/Midland-Michigan, USA, ITF/Rockford-Illinois,
USA

FINALIST (1):

1998 – Lipton
anna_kournikov
SEMIFINALIST (5):

1999 – Oklahoma City
1998 – Hannover, German Open, Eastbourne
1997 – Wimbledon

QUARTERFINALIST (6):

1999 – Tokyo [Pan Pacific]
1998 – Linz, Amelia Island, Italian Open, Tokyo [Toyota]
1997 – German Open

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS – DOUBLES WINNER (2):

1999 – Australian Open (w/Hingis)
1998 – Tokyo [Toyota] (w/Seles)

FINALIST(4):

1998 – Paris Indoors (w/Neiland), Linz (w/Neiland), Filderstadt (w/Sanchez-Vicario),                                                        1995 – Moscow (w/Olsza)

SEMIFINALIST(8):

1999 – Oklahoma City (w/de Swardt)
1998 – Roland Garros (w/Neiland), Amelia Island (w/Neiland), German Open (w/Neiland), Moscow (w/Seles)
1997 – Italian Open (w/Likhovtseva), Los Angeles (w/Sugiyama)
1996 – Moscow (w/Coetzer)

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS – MIXED DOUBLES
SEMIFINALIST (1):

1997 – Australian Open (w/Knowles)

QUARTERFINALIST (1):

1997 – Roland Garros (w/Knowles)

ADDITIONAL:

Russian Fed Cup Team 1996. Russian Olympic Team 1996

FACTS & FIGURES

* Won her first Grand Slam title at the 1999 Australian
Open, winning the doubles title with first-time partner
Martina Hingis by upsetting the first and second seeds
also reached the fourth round in singles
* Reached her first semifinal in eight months at 1999
Oklahoma City
* Ended a successful 1998 by qualifying for the
season-ending Chase Championships in both singles and
doubles, as one of the year’s top 16 singles players and
top eight doubles teams with Larisa Neiland
* Defeated six players ranked among the world’s Top 10
in 1998 and reached the Top 10 herself
* Ranked No. 25, defeated four Top 10 players in four
days to reach her first career final at 1998 Lipton, a
top-level event: began her run by defeating up-and-comer
Mirjana Lucic, then ousted No. 4 Monica Seles, No. 9 Conchita
Martinez, No. 2 Lindsay Davenport and No. 8 Arantxa
Sanchez Vicario to become the eighth player to
consecutively defeat four Top 10 players on the WTA
TOUR since 1975, and the first since 1987
* Fell in three sets to No. 11 Venus Williams in the final,
and broke into the world’s Top 20 rankings at No. 16
* Became the ninth-youngest player in the Open Era
(starting 1968) to defeat a reigning world No. 1 before her
17th birthday, upsetting Martina Hingis in the quarterfinals
at the 1998 German Open:
the defeat marked Hingis’ first professional loss to a
younger player; Kournikova also defeated No. 5 Arantxa
Sanchez Vicario in the third round
ranking moved up to a then-career high No. 13
* Defeated Steffi Graf in the quarterfinals of 1998 Eastbourne:
it was only Graf’s third grass court loss in the 1990’s
following tournament, debuted in the world’s Top 10
rankings at No. 10
in a fall during the match, suffered torn ligaments in her
right thumb and forced to withdraw from her semifinal
match and from Wimbledon the next week
* Returned to action from injury in August 1998 at the
Canadian Open, reaching the third round
* In 1998, was the first Russian woman to be seeded at
the US Open since 1976
* Upset No. 11 Iva Majoli to reach the quarterfinals of the
1998 Italian Open
* In third round of 1998 Australian Open, stretched world
No. 1 Martina Hingis to three sets before falling 6-4, 4-6,
6-4
* Won first WTA TOUR professional title in 1998 at the
Princess Cup in Tokyo, winning the doubles crown with
Monica Seles
* Extended world No. 1 Martina Hingis to three sets at
1998 Filderstadt, and reached her second consecutive
doubles final
* Served the ninth-fastest serve on the Tour in 1998 at the
Paris Indoors, 111.2 miles per hour (179 Km/h)
* From the start of the 1997 season through October 18,
1998, did not lose to anyone ranked outside the world’s
top 15
* 22 of her 27 losses in that span were to players ranked
in the Top 10
* In just her second year on the Tour, defeated three Top
10 players in 1997 (No. 5 Iva Majoli, No. 6 Arantxa
Sanchez Vicario, and No. 10 Anke Huber)
* In 1997, became the second woman in the Open Era to
reach the Wimbledon semifinals in her career debut in the
tournament (Chris Evert in 1972 is the other)
upset fifth-ranked Iva Majoli in the quarterfinals and
10th-ranked Anke Huber in the third round
came back from match point down in the second round
to defeat Barbara Rittner:
prior to the tournament, she had never reached a
semifinal on the WTA TOUR and had reached just one
quarterfinal; world ranking moved up to a then-career high
No. 25
* Collected first win over a Top 10 player with win over No.
6 Arantxa Sanchez Vicario at 1997 Berlin
* Playing in just her second WTA TOUR main draw event
and first Grand Slam tournament, reached the fourth
round at the 1996 US Open with a stadium court victory
over 14th seed Barbara Paulus
* As a wi ldcard ranked 84th, defeated 13th-ranked
Amanda Coetzer in first round of 1996 Zurich
defeated Coetzer again at 1997 Lipton, avenging a loss
to Coetzer two months earlier in the Australian Open
* At age 14, became the youngest player to compete and
win in Fed Cup competition in the first tie of 1996, helping
Russia defeat Sweden 3-0
* As a qualifier, won her first professional title at a 1996
ITF Women’s Circuit satellite event in Midland, Michigan,
USA:
after winning the tournament, flew to Oklahoma City in
time to win her first-round qualifying match the same day
* Finalist for the 1998 WTA TOUR Most Improved Player
award
* Named the 1996 COREL WTA TOUR Most Impressive
Newcomer
* In junior competition, ended 1995 as the ITF Junior
World Champion ranked No. 1
won the 1995 Orange Bowl 18s
1995 European Championships 18s winner
1995 Italian Open juniors winner
1995 Wimbledon juniors semifinalist
1995 French Open juniors quarterfinalist
* Selected to the 1998 People Magazine “50 Most
Beautiful People” list, one of only two athletes to make
the list
* Coached by Pavel Slozil since January 1998
* Moved to Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton,
Florida, in February of 1992 with her mother and stayed
until moving to Miami in 1997
* All-court style of game
* Began playing tennis at age 5 with friends in a weekly
children’s sports program

News/Events Related to Anna

18/6/99: Wimbledon, 1999: Following the withdrawal of Serena Williams from Wimbledon, Anna has been promoted to the 17th seed (ie. now with a seeding, she will not meet another seed until the 4th round). However, she has a dangerous first round match against French Open giant-killer Barbara Schwartz.

16/6/99: Wimbledon, 1999: Anna is unseeded at Wimbledon this year. She plays Dominique Van Roost, the 16th seed, in the first round.

15/6/99: Back in business! A major renovation for this site, after being more or less stagnant for the past year. Now with many new galleries and over 250 pictures.

26/8/98:Pilot Pen International Anna was ousted in this tournament 6-1, 4-6, 5-7 by Amanda Coetzer. She now focuses on the US Open, with her first round opponent being Lea Ghirardi-Rubbi of France.

18/6/98:Eastbourne Championships, Quarter Finals: A significant victory for Anna, when she defeated former world number 1 and seven-time Wimbledon Champion Steffi Graf 6-7, 6-3, 6-4 in the lead-up tournament to Wimbledon. This was Graf’s second tournament in her comeback from injury, however Kournikova had more endurance and match fitness, and kept her composure throughout the final set. This was only the second time the two have met since Anna first burst upon the scene in the 1996 US Open. She will now play either Aranxta Sanchez-Vicario or Serena Williams in the semi finals.

16/6/98:Latest WTA ranking – 11

16/6/98:Anna is drawn to play Kimberly Po in her first round match at Wimbledon. She is the same section as fellow teenagers Serena Williams and Mirijana Lucic, with a possible meeting with Venus Williams in the fourth round.

1/6/98:French Open, Round 4: Anna was defeated by Jana Novotna 6-7, 6-3, 3-6 in a match which was continued from the previous day. Early in the the third set, her request to have the match halted was denied, only to have Novotna being granted the same request a little later. She was also denied a toilet break at a crucial moment in that set. Obviously disappointed, and down 4-2, she could not rally and save the match the following day. Anna now begins her preparation for Wimbledon, a tournament where she reached the semi-finals last year.

29/5/98:French Open, Round 3: An ominous warning to her opponents was given when Anna ruthlessly destroyed Asa Carlsson 6-0, 6-0. She showcased her all-court attack by hitting 14 baseline winners and 8 service winners, as well as some brilliant drop volleys, in a match where she “really didn’t want to lose any games”. The victory sets up a fourth round meeting with third seed Jana Novotna, whom Anna has not taken a set off in three previous matches. She rates herself a good chance though this time, pointing to the fact that clay is not Novotna’s favourite surface.

28/5/98:French Open, Round 2: Anna defeated Katarina Studenikova 6-2, 7-6 in a messy match which featured a combined 54 unforced errors and 10 breaks of serve. A fightback from Studenikova in the second set tested Anna’s resolve, but she handled it with the confidence and maturity which has been the trademark of her play this year. Her next opponent is Asa Carlsson.

25/5/98:French Open, Round 1: Anna began her French Open campaign with a spirited 6-2, 6-4 victory over Amelie Mauresmo, the French teenager who had made the German Open final the previous week. Coming back from a 4-1 deficit in the second set, Anna later stated “It gives me confidence that I had a tough first round match”.

18/5/98:Latest WTA ranking – 13

16/5/98:German Open, Semi Finals: A nervous Anna was humbled 6-0, 6-1 by Conchita Martinez in the semi finals. After her brilliant match against Hingis, she was disturbed by the slow-paced consistency of the Spaniard, and unable to display her trademark flair and power. After the match, Kournikova stated “After that win (against Hingis), it was hard to play today… But she just played excellently”. Next up for Anna is the second Grand Slam of the year, the French Open.

15/5/98:German Open, Quarter Finals: In the biggest individual win of her career, Anna finally defeated world number 1 Martina Hingis in straight sets 6-3, 7-6. The spectacular victory comes as sweet revenge for her loss in the Italian Open last week, and the numerous occasions where Hingis has blocked her path to Grand Slam success. Having been somewhat nervous in previous meetings, Anna this time was more focussed mentally, stating “I didn’t think about who was on the other side of the net, I just played my game. I think she was surprised by that”. Still aiming for her first tournament victory, she will play Conchita Martinez in the semi-finals.
Associated Articles

* “Kournikova stuns Hingis at German Open” – Nando
* “Kournikova gets prayed-for win over Hingis at German Open” – Nando
* “Kournikova stuns Hingis in German quarterfinals” – CBS Sportsline

14/5/98:German Open, Round 3: Anna continued her penchant for defeating top-ranked players after overpowering fifth-seeded Aranxta Sanchez-Vicario 6-4, 6-2. This was a repeat result of their match in the same tournament last year, which happened to be Anna’s first victory over a top 10 player. Anna again now faces Martina Hingis in the quarter-finals, the second time the two have played in a week.

11/5/98:Latest WTA ranking – 16

8/5/98:Italian Open, Quarter Finals: Anna was outclassed by Martina Hingis in straight sets 6-2, 6-4. After trailing 5-0 in the 2nd set, Anna was let back in the match, taking it to 5-4 before faltering and volleying a sixth matchpoint into the net. Her next tournament is the German Open beginning on May 11th.

7/5/98:Italian Open, Round 3: Anna defeated defending French Open champion Iva Majoli at the Italian Open clay-court tournament in three sets 6-3, 3-6, 6-2. The victory sets up yet another meeting with Martina Hingis in the quarter-finals.

26/3/98:Lipton Championships, Final: A disappointing loss to Venus Williams in the final 2-6, 6-4, 6-1. Anna played well to take the opening set, and looked on her way to victory, but was eventually overcome by fatigue and a patient Williams. Nevertheless, it still has been a superb tournament for Anna, and her world ranking will now climb to No.16. This means she is likely to receive a seeding in the upcoming Grand Slams, and hence not have to play another top 16 player in the first three rounds.

26/3/98:Lipton Championships, Semi Finals: In what has now been unarguably the best performance of her career, Anna has made the final of the Lipton tournament by defeating Aranxta Sanchez-Vicario 3-6, 6-1, 6-3. In doing so, she has accomplished what no other player has done in the women’s game – beat top 10 players four days in a row. Throw in the victory over Lucic as well, and it has been one remarkable run. “It shows everybody that I can play..” Anna explained afterwards, stating the obvious. The only thing which now stands in the way of her first tournament victory is fellow teen Venus Williams, who had earlier disposed of world No.1 Martina Hingis.
Associated Articles
* “An all-teen final at Lipton: Venus vs. Anna” – ESPN Sportszone

25/3/98:Lipton Championships, Quarter Finals: In her best performance since last year’s Wimbledon, Anna reached the semi finals with a sizzling 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 defeat of world No.2 Lindsay Davenport. This is now her third straight victory over a top 10 player. “I played great tennis at Wimbledon, but right now I’m much smarter,” she said after the match, “It’s all just mental, because physically – the way of making shots – I could do anything…”. Anna’s opponent in the semi finals is Aranxta Sanchez-Vicario.
Associated Articles
* “Kournikova, Henman keep on winning” – ESPN Sportszone
* “Anna Kournikova may be on verge of breakthrough at Lipton” – Nando
* Post match interview – The Lipton Championships Site

24/3/98:Lipton Championships, Round 4: The Kournikova juggernaut continued, with a 6-3, 6-0 demolition of world No.9 Conchita Martinez. It was Anna’s second win over a top 10 player within 24 hours, after defeating Monica Seles the previous day. Her superiority was clearly displayed with statistics showing Martinez never had a break point, and hit only two winners throughout the match. Anna won 15 of 17 points at the net. Her next match is against Lindsay Davenport in the quarter-finals.

23/3/98:Lipton Championships, Round 3: Anna had probably her greatest career win, with a straight sets victory over Monica Seles 7-5, 6-4. When asked after the match if she thought it was her biggest win, she said “I think so, I enjoyed it the most probably ever”. She also paid tribute to her rival, saying “Monica’s always been the player that I admired most. It was my dream to play against her.” Anna’s post-match interview can be found here.

21/3/98:Lipton Championships, Round 2: In a match against highly regarded rival teenager Mirjana Lucic, Anna triumphed in straight sets 6-4, 6-2. She frustrated her opponent with her superior all-court game, with Lucic making 30 unforced errors in a 56-minute match. Anna will now most likely play former No.1 Monica Seles in the 3rd round.

16/2/98:Latest WTA ranking – 27

24/1/98:Australian Open, Round 3: Anna lost a thrilling match to defending champion Martina Hingis, with a final score of 4-6, 6-4, 4-6. She was still in the match with 2 games left, but some mistakes under pressure let her down. This was the closest she has come to defeating Hingis, and also the third time the two have played in Grand Slams.

20/1/98:Australian Open, Round 1: Anna advanced to the second round of the Australian Open with a 6-2, 6-1 demolition of Katarina Studenikova. A favourite with the Australian crowd, she said after the match – “In the locker room I had to go check if I was still Russian because I thought I might be Australian,” Kournikova joked. “The fans were just unbelievable and, of course, it helped me. I was trying to play even better. It was fun.” She now plays Corina Morariu in the next round, with a possible re-match with Martina Hingis should she win.

18/1/98:Latest WTA ranking – 29

12/1/98:Adidas International, Sydney: In the first round of this tournament, Anna was victorious 6-4, 3-0 over Yayuk Basuki, who defaulted due to back trouble. She now meets second seed Lindsay Davenport in the second round. The official Adidas International site is at http://www.tennisnsw.com.au/tennis/adidas.html.

12/10/97:Latest WTA ranking – 27

9/10/97:Porshe Cup, Germany: Anna lost to Amanda Coetzer in 3 sets 3-6,6-3,6-4 in the second round of this tournament.

11/9/97:The WTA Tour has announced changes in the age elegibility rule, implementing a ‘merit-based increase in play’. The decision means that Anna is now able to play 17 tournaments a year (previously restricted to 14 tournaments at age sixteen).

27/8/97:US Open, Round 2: A disappointing loss to 11th seed Irina Spirlea in 3 sets has seen Anna eliminated from the US Open. Hopefully with a continued improvement in ranking, Anna will recieve a seeding in grand slams and not have to play another seed until the 4th round.

26/8/97:US Open, Round 1: Anna continues her winning ways in Grand Slams, with an awesome 6-2,6-0 rout of 19th-ranked Sabine Appelmans. Her total career Grand Slam record now stands at 11-4. For latest news, the US Open Official page is at www.usopen.org . Listen to her post-match interview here (RealAudio).

19/8/97:Latest WTA ranking – 26

2/7/97:Wimbledon, Quarter-Finals: A sensational straight sets victory (7-6,6-4) over French Open champion Iva Majoli has placed Anna into her first Grand Slam semi-final. This is a remarkable accomplishment, considering this is also her first Wimbledon – a feat achieved by very few (if any) players in the modern era. She now has a rematch with world number 1 Martina Hingis in Friday’s semi-finals.
Associated Articles
* “Kournikova tops Majoli” – Nando
* “Profile of Anna Kournikova” – Nando
* “Battle of generations set for women’s semifinals” – Nando
* “Bollettieri keeps cranking out winners” – Nando

30/6/97:Wimbledon, Round 3: Anna’s brilliant form at Wimbledon continued in the third round, with a win over 7th seeded Anke Huber 3-6,6-4,6-4. She plays 72nd-ranked Helena Sukova in the fourth round, giving her a great chance of reaching her first Grand Slam quarter final.

28/6/97:Wimbledon, Round 2: Anna displayed remarkable resilience and maturity in her second round meeting with Barbara Rittner, where she came back from trailing 4-6,1-5 to clinch the match 4-6,7-6,6-3.

24/6/97:Wimbledon, Round 1: In probably her most impressive performance to date, Anna thrashed former Top 10 player Chanda Rubin 6-1,6-1 to begin her Wimbledon campaign. This sets up a meeting with Barbara Rittner in the second round.

1/6/97:French Open: Anna was defeated 6-1,6-3 in her third round match against Martina Hingis. After the match, Anna said “She’s got more experience than I have and that showed today… I was a bit nervous because it’s my first French Open and it was my first match on center court but I did play better towards the end”.

29/5/97:French Open: Anna has continued her great form by beating Sandra Cecchini 6-2,6-2 in the second round, setting up a dream meeting in the third round against world number 1 and fellow teenager, Martina Hingis.

23/5/97:Anna is drawn to play Radka Zrubakova in the first round of the French Open. The Official French Open Site is at www.frenchopen.org

19/5/97:Latest WTA ranking – 48

16/5/97: German Open: Anna has made it into the quarterfinals of the German Open by defeating Aranxta Sanchez-Vicario in 3 sets: 3-6, 6-0, 6-3. This is her first defeat of a Top 10 ranked player and her most significant victory to date, although she played it down, stating afterwards “It was just a normal match for me”. She will face Mary Joe Fernandez in Friday’s quarterfinals.

12/5/97:Latest WTA ranking – 56

5/5/97: Italian Open, May 5th-18th: The lead up to the French Open. Anna will play Shi-Ting Wang in the first round. For latest updates, check the Italian Open Official Site.

28/4/97:Latest WTA ranking – 62

22/3/97: Lipton Championships – Anna had her revenge against Amanda Coetzer, defeating her 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in a second round match.

20/3/97:After moving into the 2nd round of the Lipton Championships by defeating Japan’s Nana Miyagi 6-2, 6-0 , Anna complained about the current WTA “anti-burnout” rule which only allows her to play 10 tournaments a year. “It’s hard to move up when everyone else can play every tournament and I can only play 10. They will do better than me even if I win all 10” she said, “Martina is there. If I had more of a chance to play, I could be there also”.

17/3/97:Latest WTA ranking – 90

26/1/97:Overall, Anna had a satisfactory Australian Open in 1997. She was unlucky to be drawn against eventual semi-finalist (and Steffi Graf conqueror) Amanda Coetzer in the 1st round, losing 6-2 6-2. However, she performed superbly in the mixed doubles with Mark Knowles, making the semi-finals before losing 6-4 6-3.

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