Anna Kournikova: Most popular former player never to win a singles title

Anna Kournikova Tennis

During her professional career, Anna Kournikova never won a singles WTA title. Teaming with Martina Hingis, they won the doubles title at the 1999 and 2002 Australian Open. She won the European Championships and Italian Open Juniors at the age of 14. She was the youngest player to win a Fed Cup match at the age of 14. She was the youngest player to win the 18-and-under division of the Junior Orange Bowl in Miami. In 1995 she was crowned ITF Junior World Champion.

Her highest ranking as a singles player was number 8 in November 2000, and her highest ranking as a doubles player (with Martina Hingis) was number 1 in November 1999. Back injuries forced her retirement from a career as a professional tennis player in 2007.

Her popularity during and after her professional tennis career has less to do with her accomplishments as a tennis player, but more to do with her being extremely photogenic,  endorsement advertising, and personal relationships with high profile sports and celebrity men.

To this day, based on Google stats, she is one of the most searched female athletes of all time. One of the most photographed women in sports, she appeared in Sports Illustrated issues in 2004 and 2005. She endorses Omega watches, Berlie sports bras, Lycos internet search engine & web portal, Yonex tennis racquets, and K-Swiss sports apparel. Kournikova’s net worth is estimated to be $50 million.

She has been the subject of tabloid articles resulting from her relationships with pro hockey players, Pavel Bure and Sergei Fedorov, and singer, Enrique Iglesias.

An alcoholic beverage (a variation of a White Russian made with skim milk) has been named after her. In poker, there is a variation of Texas Hold’em (hold cards Ace-King, unsuited) named the Anna Kournikova; so named because the poker hand looks good but it never wins.

She replaced Jillian Michaels as the new trainer for season 12 of the U.S. television show, The Biggest Loser, note: she did not return as the trainer for season 13.

She is actively involved in various charities, serving as an ambassador for Popular Services International (PSI), Five & Alive program, which addresses health crisis facing children under the age of 5. She partners with the Boys & Girls Club of America, focusing on promoting active lifestyles for children; and with PSI, focusing on improving the health of poor and vulnerable people in developing countries.

To stay involved in tennis she is a member of the St. Louis Aces of World Team Tennis (WTT) where she plays doubles only.
Anna Kournikova SI

She has been quoted as saying, “I’m like a menu at an expensive restaurant. You can look at me, but you can’t afford me.”

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