Women

Anna Kournikova is Always Ready to Hit Some Ace

Anna Sergeyevna Kournikova is a Russian American professional tennis player and model. Her celebrity status made her one of the best known tennis players worldwide. Although she never won a single professional singles tournament, Russian hottie Anna did win a couple of Grand Slam doubles titles

Born on June 7, 1981, in Moscow, Russia, to Sergei and Alla. Her father, a lecturer at the sports university in Moscow and a part-time tennis coach, and mother, did not encourage Anna to play tennis for the fame, but rather for the health benefits of the sport.

By the time she was 14, she had become the youngest player to win a Fed Cup match, and made sure people took notice of her when she won the European Championships and Italian Open juniors. When she turned pro in 1996, she stepped onto the scene as an ITF Junior World Champion.

No. 8 in the world in 2000, Anna’s specialty has been doubles, where she has at times been the World No. 1 player. With Martina Hingis as her partner, she won Grand Slam titles in Australia in 1999 and 2002. Based on their looks, Hingis and Kournikova facetiously referred to themselves as the “Spice Girls of Tennis”.

In 2000, Anna became the new face for Berlei’s shock absorber sports bras, and appeared in the highly successful “only the ball should bounce” billboard campaign. She appeared in various men’s magazines, including one in the much-publicized 2004 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, where she posed in bikinis and swimsuits, and in other popular men’s publications such as FHM and Maxim.

Anna was named one of People’s 50 Most Beautiful People in 1998, 2000, 2002, and 2003 and was voted “hottest female athlete” and “hottest couple” on ESPN.com. In 2002 she also placed first in FHM’s 100 Sexiest Women in the World in U.S. and UK editions. She was also ranked #1 in the ESPN Classic series “Who’s number 1?” when the series featured sport’s 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. In October 2010, Anna will head to NBC’s The Biggest Loser where she will lead the contestants in a tennis-workout challenge.

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