Anna Kournikova News Archive, up to the present ( Sports - Women's Tennis )

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    (Jan. 5, 2003) Anna Kournikova is playing doubles at the adidas International in Sydney, Australia with her fellow adidas endorser Chanda Rubin (#32 at doubles, #13 at singles). Although seeded 4th, they must play the very formidable team of Lindsay Davenport and Lisa Raymond (#3 at doubles, a former long-time #1) in the 1st round. This match will take place on Monday, not before 7:30 PM local (that is 12:30 AM PT and 3:30 AM ET). Unfortunately, there is no webcam and no live scoring. Anna and Chanda partnered together very successfully at Wimbledon in 2002, where they reached the SFs before losing to the Williams sisters. With Martina Hingis out until at least February recovering from her ankle injury, it seems likely that Anna will partner with Chanda for the Australian Open doubles also. Anna won the doubles title in Melbourne last year (and in 1999), partnered with Hingis.

    (Jan. 6) Anna Kournikova and Chanda Rubin, seeded 4th, defeated Lindsay Davenport and Lisa Raymond 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 on Monday in the 1st round of doubles at the adidas International in Sydney, Australia. They will play either Amanda Coetzer and Jessica Steck or Maret Ani and Andreea Vanc in the 2nd round.

    On Tuesday (probably Monday in the US: is 11 hours ahead of UTC (GMT), 19 hours ahead of Pacific time in the US, and 16 hours ahead of US Eastern time), Anna will play #33 Janette Husarova of Slovakia in the 1st round of singles (draws, .pdf). This will be the 4th match of the day on Centre Court, with the 1st match starting at 11am local time (4pm PT or 7pm ET in the US, but there is no live scoring or webcam) In their only previous meeting, Anna defeated Janette in a QF in Acapulco last March, 6-3, 6-4.

    (Jan. 7) #33 Janette Husarova of Slovakia defeated #38 Anna Kournikova 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 on Tuesday in the 1st round of singles at the adidas International in Sydney, Australia. News photos from the match feature Anna displeased with some of the calls (no articles or interviews describing the match can yet be found). Anna remains active in doubles, however, Anna and partner Chanda Rubin will play Amanda Coetzer and Jessica Steck in the 2nd round. This will be the 5th match of the day on Wednesday on court 1, that will probably make it late Tuesday evening in the US (draws, .pdf).

    (Jan. 8) Anna Kournikova and Chanda Rubin, seeded 4th, will finish their 2nd-round doubles match against South Africans Amanda Coetzer and Jessica Steck Thursday at the adidas International in Sydney, Australia. The match was partially completed yesterday, but unfinished due to rain; the partial score was Anna and Chanda "leading" 2-1 in the 1st set, and their match time Thursday (probably late Wednesday in the US) is to be announced (draws, .pdf).

    The Wismilak International tennis tournament (Sept. 8-14) has made Anna a "lucrative" offer to compete there. Bali's tourism has been way down since the recent terrorist bombing, and they think the publicity of Anna's presence might help. There is no official word of Anna accepting the offer, but Indonesia's top player, Angelique Widjaja, playing at the Canberra Women's Classic this week, said she believed Anna had accepted: "I heard that Kournikova will be there."

    The 2003 Australian Open seeds are out, but Anna's current rank of #38 was not quite high enough to be amongst the 32 seeded. The 32nd seed is #35 Katarina Srebotnik, and #36 Marie-Gaianeh Mikaelian is the only active player between Anna and Katarina (#37 Sandrine Testud has retired). 16th seed Nathalie Dechy was injured this week and is considered doubtful for the Open, but whether or any other injury withdrawals this would lead to a rearrangement of the seeds remains to be seen (a player might simply be inserted in Dechy's or other injured player's draw postion(s), rather than juggling all the seeds). Anna's 1st round opponent will be known when the draw is released on Jan. 10th.

    (Jan. 9) South Africans Amanda Coetzer and Jessica Steck defeated Anna Kournikova and Chanda Rubin Thursday 6-3, 6-2 in the 2nd round of doubles at the adidas International in Sydney, Australia (draws, .pdf). Anna will now head south to Melbourne for next week's Australian Open.

    (Jan. 13) #42 Anna Kournikova defeated #67 Henrieta Nagyova of Slovakia 6-1, 6-2 on Monday in the 1st round of the Australian Open (match statistics). Anna said: (full interview) "I'm really happy about the way I played today, and I wasn't really thinking about, you know, the Grand Slam thing. I was just concentrating on the match today, and I think I played a nearly perfect match." Interview on Windows Media.

    Anna is again partnered with Chanda Rubin in doubles, their 4th tournament and 2nd grand slam together. They will play Alexandra Stevenson and Vanessa Webb in the 1st round, probably on Wednesday or Thursday (doubles draw).

    (Jan. 14) #5 Justine Henin-Hardenne defeated Anna Kournikova 6-0, 6-1 Wednesday (Tuesday in the US) in the 2nd round of the Australian Open in Melbourne. Anna had a lousy day in narrowly avoiding the double bagel: she suffered from 29 unforced errors and 6 double faults (high for just 13 games); she hit only 5 winners in winning just 26 points (Justine hit only 8 winners in winning 54 points) (match statistics). Anna is now 0-4 against Justine, who defeated her last year in the 1st round in Melbourne. Anna said (full interview): "Justine played really, really well. She didn't give me any opportunities or any chances. When I did have them in the second set, you know, I missed a couple easy volleys... It was very hard to get into the match. She started off playing really, really well. Every single point, she was fighting for it. I was always on the defense, and she was always a step ahead of me... I'm just going to have to go and practice and work harder and get ready for the next tournament in Tokyo."

    (Jan. 16) Anna Kournikova and Chanda Rubin defeated Alexandra Stevenson and Vanessa Webb 0-6, 6-0, 6-2 in the 1st round of doubles Thursday night (early AM in the US) at the Australian Open in Melbourne. The score was not the only unusual thing about the match: Anna and Chanda combined for only 3 unforced errors and 2 double faults in all 20 games, but hit only 3 winners in winning 71 points (match statistics). Anna and Chanda will play the Japanese duo of Shinobu Asagoe & Nana Miyagi in the 2nd round on Friday. This will be the 3rd match of the day on Show Court 2, with the 1st match starting at 11AM local (4PM PT and 7PM ET in the US) (IBM Real-Time Scoreboard-- schedule -- draw).

    (Jan. 17) Anna Kournikova and Chanda Rubin easily defeated the Japanese duo of Shinobu Asagoe & Nana Miyagi 6-1, 6-0 in the 2nd round of doubles at the Australian Open in Melbourne on Friday (match statistics).

    (Jan. 18) Anna Kournikova and Alex Bogomolov, Jr. (of the US) defeated Argentines Lucas Arnold and Patricia Tarabini 6-4, 6-2 in the 1st round of mixed doubles at the Australian Open in Melbourne on Saturday (match stats). Unseeded Anna and Alex will face 7th seeds Jared Palmer & Janet Lee in the 2nd round; they should provide tougher competition (mixed doubles draw).

In the 3rd round of doubles, 9th-seeded Anna and Chanda Rubin will play 8th seeds Conchita Martinez & Nadia Petrova. This will be the 4th match of the day in Margaret Court Arena, with the 1st match starting at 11AM local on Sunday (4PM PT and 7PM ET Saturday in the US) (IBM Real-Time Scoreboard-- schedule -- doubles draw).

    (Jan. 19) 8th seeds Conchita Martinez & Nadia Petrova defeated 9th-seeded Anna Kournikova and Chanda Rubin 6(5)-7, 6-3, 6-3 Sunday in the 3rd round of doubles at the Australian Open in Melbourne (match statistics). Anna is still active in mixed doubles, but not playing on Monday, so she will probably be playing on Tuesday (late Monday in the US) (IBM Real-Time Scoreboard-- schedule -- doubles draw)

    (Jan. 21) Anna Kournikova and Alex Bogomolov, Jr. withdrew from mixed doubles at the Australian Open in Melbourne, due to a back strain suffered by Bogomov. They were to play a 2nd round match against 7th seeds Jared Palmer & Janet Lee, who won in a walkover. Anna's Australian Open is thus over; her next match will be at next week's Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, Japan.

    (Jan. 24) Anna Kournikova has withdrawn from next week's Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, Japan. The announcement was made at the Toray website, with no explanation given. Reuters says Anna's withdrawal is due to a back sprain; the Associated Press says the reason is unknown (Jennifer Capriati has also withdrawn from the Toray, due to incomplete recovery from eye surgery late last year). Anna's next scheduled tournament is the NASDAQ-100 in Miami (March 19-30), but unless she has a serious injury, it is likely she will play before then (2003 WTA Tournament Schedule).

    (Jan. 25) Search statistics for this site indicate an inordinate amount of curiosity about "Anna Kournikova's tattoo". Here's the scoop: there isn't any. January 13th interview excerpt:

Q. There seems to be a lot of interest in your body art. Can you tell us whether or not the tattoo that's been spoken of so much is a new one, an existing one that has been touched up, what it says, and also whether or not we're going to see it this Australian Open.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: You actually saw a tattoo on my body?

Q. Well, you would have read the stories that you've got a tattoo...

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: No, I don't read stories, I'm sorry.

Q. The story is that you have a tattoo at the base of your spine.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I don't want to know, so...

Q. There's a plastic, a sticky plastic...

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: Well, I've been wearing a heat patch for about two years now. It just happens to be that my skirt is pretty low right now, and everybody sees the patch.

Q. Once and for all, can you clear up whether there's a tattoo under the heat patch?

ANNA KOURNIKOVA: I don't think I have anything on my body. I just have a heat patch. I have a chronic back pain, I'm sorry.

This author for one is glad to know that such a healthy young lady is not marring her appearance with any such useless appendage.

    (Feb. 14-18) Anna Kournikova has withdrawn from next week's Kroger St. Jude, Memphis, TN. Anna is still troubled by a back injury she incurred at the Australian Open. Anna will go to Memphis Monday night to make a check presentation to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in a ceremony on Stadium Court between the evening's two feature matches.

    Anna said: "I'm back from Australia and home in Florida right now. My back sprain is improving but I won't be in tournament competition for about the next three weeks. Unfortunately, this means that I won't be able to play in Memphis next week, which is very disappointing for me. While I rehab my back, I am still able to do fitness training and work on developing my game."


Anna in Memphis on Feb. 17, 2003, donating $30,000 to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
 
click to see larger

    (Mar. 2) Anna Kournikova withdrew from the Pacific Life Open next week (March 3), apparently not yet fully recovered from her back sprain. Anna is not immobile, however: she and Jan-Michael Gambill took part in an "match" for the media at the Tennis Center in Key Biscayne, Florida Thursday (Feb. 27), playing with IndyCar Marlboro Team Penske drivers Gil de Ferran and Helio Castroneves to promote the IRL race this weekend in Miami, and the NASDAQ-100 Open beginning March 10. On her official website Anna's Feb. 21st "journal" entry says "I'll be back in action at Key Biscayne".

    (Mar. 3) In an interview in The Hockey News print magazine published today, Sergei Fedorov of the NHL's Detroit Red Wings states that he and Anna Kournikova were married for a short time. Fedorov said: "We were married, albeit brief, and we are now divorced." He also said that they no longer keep in touch. Anna has not yet commented to this news in the press, and she usually does not like discussing her personal life with reporters. Fedorov's mother told reporters in July, 2001 that the two had been married in a Moscow registry office. At that time Anna's father Sergei Kournikov told the press that she was not married, and Anna later placed an unequivocal statement on her official website stating that she was not. It seems likely that the marriage was very short, or that someone is just trying to sell magazines.
If the story is true, it seems very strange that reporters don't simply look it up in the records of Moscow marriage licenses (or certificates of divorce, for that matter).

    (Mar. 19) #66 Anna Kournikova will play another Russian, #63 Dinara Safina, in the 1st round of the NASDAQ-100 Open in Miami, FL. This will be the 2nd evening match on Stadium Court on Thursday, March 20, following an ATP match that starts at 7PM ET (4PM PT) (live scoring). Dinara, who will turn 17 next month, and Anna have never played before (draw, .pdf). At this tourney in 1998, Anna defeated 4 top ten players on her way to her 1st WTA final, where she lost to Venus Williams. This is a 2-week tourney, see the QuickSports Tennis News page for much more tournament coverage.

    (Mar. 21) #63 Dinara Safina defeated #66 Anna Kournikova 6-1, 6-4 in the 1st round of the NASDAQ-100 Open in Miami, FL. Anna's match statistics, although not good, were not as bad as the score might indicate.
Anna said: "...it was a tough match... I was pretty nervous going back on the court and playing a first match in such a long time... towards the end of the match, I really kind of got into it, but it was a little too late... I'm physically in great shape. I've been working really hard. But it's very hard to do anything if you don't have the confidence."
About 16-year-old Dinara, Anna said: "...she's a great girl. She's very smart... I know her very well. I remember she was two years old and sleeping by the courts... for a big girl, she moves really well... she could be great."
Asked about her divorce, Anna said: "I've always said that it's not something that I want to get into and it's not something that I want to talk about, my personal and private life... I understand that it's your job to write, I don't want to make it difficult for anybody, but I really don't want to talk about it. That's the way it is." (full interview)

    (Mar. 24) Meilen Tu & Sonya Jeyaseelan upset 6th-seeded Anna Kournikova & Elena Dementieva 7-5, 6-4 in the 1st round of doubles at the NASDAQ-100 Open in Miami, FL (match statistics). Elena is ranked #7 at doubles (#19 at singles); Anna's doubles rank has slipped to 23rd during her injury problems. They had never teamed together before (doubles draw -- match results). It was a disappointing week for the two pretty, blonde Moscow natives (although they must have made a fine sight on the court), as both lost in the 1st round of singles as well. This is the 2nd week of a 2-week tourney, see the QuickSports Tennis News page for much more tournament coverage.

    Next week, Anna will play in the Sarasota Open, March 31st-April 6th. She was granted a wild card into the main draw.

    (Apr. 2) #32 Iva Majoli of Italy defeated #66 Anna Kournikova 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in the 1st round of the Sarasota Clay Court Classic in Sarasota, Florida. Anna was down 0-5 in the 1st set before she finally held serve. For the match, Anna's serve was broken 10 times, but she broke Iva's serve 9 times.
    Anna said: "I just kind of said, 'OK you have lost the set,' and I became more aggressive... I kind of went for my shots more. I really had to find a way to stretch her out and kind of mix it up a little bit... Obviously I came out and didn't play so well and she was playing great in the beginning... The main point of the match is that I took a big step from the way I played last week. That was important for me. I was disappointed in the loss but, in the end, three or four points could have decided the match. She just played better...
    Anna also said: "It's a huge step forward. In the last six months, I've only played five matches. How can I build on those five matches? It's totally different practicing and playing matches. Now that I've played two matches in two weeks, I'm starting to get a sense of being in the moment."
Competent but inconsistent Iva defeated Martina Hingis to win the 1997 French Open (the only Grand Slam Martina lost that year). Anna was 2-0 against Iva, defeating her 7-6(1) 6-4 in a Wimbledon QF in 1997, and 6-3 3-6 6-2 at the Italian Open in 1998. Anna is not playing doubles in this tournament.

    (Apr. 3) Anna Kournikova was the 1st player selected in the April 2nd World Team Tennis draft. Anna was selected by the Kansas City Explorers, who got the first pick the usual way, by finishing last in the league last year. The Explorers also drafted Anna in 2001, but due to her left foot stress fracture that year, Anna was unable to play. 10-team league was founded by Billie Jean King and then-husband Larry King in the early '70s. Each team has two male and two female players, who play singles, doubles and mixed doubles matches at each meeting. The 2003 season will run from July 7-27, with the WTT finals scheduled for August 23. Other WTA members playing WTT this year will include Lindsay Davenport and Anastasia Myskina. This article about Anna's selection includes a photo of Anna vs Iva Majoli on April 1st.

    (Apr. 9) Spainard #25 Conchita Martinez defeated #67 Anna Kournikova Wednesday 6-4, 1-1, retired in the 1st round of the Family Circle Cup on Daniel Island, Charleston, South Carolina. Anna had to retire from the match due to a left adductor muscle strain. Anna said: "It was cold out there, and I felt a sharp pain in my leg. At the 4-all game [in the first set], I went wide for a ball and felt something in my leg. It felt getting tighter and tighter. At 5-4, I got to the point where I had difficulty moving, then called the trainer." A rain delay in Charleston had interrupted the match on Tuesday with Anna up a break in the 1st set, leading 2-0 (draw, .pdf).
Anna and Conchita had played 7 times before, and Conchita now leads the series 5-3. Anna had won their previous WTA match, in August 2002 in San Diego, 1-6, 6-2, 6-1. Anna reached the final of the Family Circle Cup in 1999, losing to her (currently retired) good friend Martina Hingis 4-6, 3-6.
For the 2nd week in a row, Anna was not playing doubles at this tournament. See the QuickSports Tennis News page for much more tournament coverage.

    (Apr. 12) Not exactly news: Ashley Harkleroad, after defeating Meghann Shaughnessy at the Family Circle Cup, was asked how she felt about being compared to Anna Kournikova. Ashley said: "You know, I've been practicing with her a lot in Miami, and she's a very sweet girl, and we get along well, and she's a very cool girl. So I just take it as a compliment."

    (Apr. 13) Anna Kournikova, who pulled a muscle (a "left adductor strain", that's the inner thigh muscle) at the Family Circle Cup last week, has apparently withdrawn from this week's Bausch and Lomb Championships. Anna's name is not listed on the draw sheet.

    (Apr. 16) Anna Kournikova has entered the $75,000 ITF Women's Circuit Tournament in Dothan, Alabama starting next Monday (story). This will be Anna's first entry in an ITF tournament (not WTA-sanctioned) since 1996. In that year Anna, who is frequently said to have never won a tournament, won two ITF events, at Midland, Texas and Rockford, Illinois. Anna has frequently stated that she needs more tournament match time to get her game back to the level she was at when she reached #8 in the WTA rankings at the beginning of 2001, prior to her left foot stress fracture that kept her out of play for most of 2001. After that injury, Anna's rank dropped as low as #100, recovering to #36 at the end of last year before recurring injuries and early round losses dropped it back to the current #67.
It seems clear that Anna wants to use the ITF event to hone her game before the German Open in Berlin, beginning May 5th, for which Anna was granted a wild card entry. This is a course that was recommended by critics such as John McEnroe and Chris Evert during Wimbledon last year.

    (Apr. 17) After having her injured leg checked by her doctor, Anna Kournikova has decided not to play in the Dothan, Alabama ITF Tourney next week. Many of the stories about Anna playing in an ITF event had called the move "drastic," but if Anna had played, the competition would not have been shabby. 23 of the top 200 in the WTA rankings will be there, making the field similar to what would be found at Tier IV or Tier V WTA tourneys like those in Bogota, Colombia and Bol, Croatia (story from the Dothan Eagle).

    (Apr. 21) Online articles say that Anna Kournikova is entered to play in the Sea Island, GA ITF event in eary May. However, Anna has been offered a wild card to play in the German Open, May 5, so her playing in the Sea Island event doesn't seem very likely.

    (Apr. 22) World Team Tennis schedules have been released. Anna Kournikova, 1st pick in the WTT draft this year, is playing with the Kansas City Explorers (schedule link), who will compete 14 times (7 home, 7 road) from July 7 to July 27. Although not every player plays every gig, Anna is definitely expected to appear on July 18 in Kansas City. Her teammates will be Iroda Tulyaganova, Rachel McQuillan, Rick Leach, and David Wheaton.

    (Apr. 25) A South African news agency reported that Anna Kournikova has withdrawn from the May 5 German Open due to injury. This is probably the same injury (a left adductor muscle tear) which forced her to retire from her match with Conchita Martinez at the Family Circle Cup on April 9th, and apparently has been slow to heal. The story was later confirmed by Reuters, but has not yet appeared on the German Open website itself.

    (Apr. 27) #67 Anna Kournikova is expected to play in the ITF Cloister Cup at Sea Island, Georgia, May 4-11. Other WTA players at the $25,000 non-WTA event will include # 43Amy Frazier and #93 Ansley Cargill. Anna is reportedly regarding this $25,000 event as part of her torn muscle rehab leading up to the French Open.

    (May 2) Anna Kournikova is still expected to play in the ITF event at Sea Island, Georgia next week. An ITF spokesman said on Friday: "As of today, Kournikova's still in the draw and will be playing at Sea Island on Monday." Unfortunately, this tournament appears to have no website.

    (May 5) No website has yet been found for the ITF Cloister Cup at Sea Island, GA, where Anna Kournikova is playing this week. However, a tournament fact sheet (.pdf) and an entry list (.pdf) are available online. # 67 Anna appears likely to be the # 2 seed, behind # 43 Amy Frazier. Anna's young compatriot Maria Sharapova is also entered in the tournament. You might also get the draw (.html) at Aceman's Tennis, although it is not yet posted as of this writing.

    (May 7) 2nd seeded # 72 Anna Kournikova will play # 260 Maria Fernanda Alves of Brazil in the 1st round of the ITF Cloister Cup at Sea Island, GA. This match will take place on Stadium Court Wednesday evening at 5pm EDT or later. Maria won a $10,000 ITF event in Monterey this past March; Anna has never played her before.
-- If Anna wins, she will play (currently unranked, but the draw sheet gives her # 199* with an asterisk) Gabriela Volekova of Slovakia in the 2nd round. The top seed in the tournament is # 43 Amy Frazier, and Anna's young compatriot Maria Sharapova is the 3rd seed and could face Anna in a semifinal (.pdf pages: draw -- daily schedule -- tournament fact sheet -- USTA news.

    (May 8) # 72 Anna Kournikova defeated # 260 Maria Fernanda Alves of Brazil 4-6, 6-4, 3-0 retired on Wednesday in the 1st round of the ITF Cloister Cup at Sea Island, GA. Maria retired after suffering a left thigh injury in the third set. Anna trailed 1-4 in the 1st set before she started getting into the match. Anna said: "It's not the best match I've played... That's why I'm here. I need to play as many matches as I can. I haven't played in a long time and I had to find my rhythm... These matches are hard. The girls are so hungry, they fight for every point. They have nothing to lose."
-- Anna is also expected to play in next week’s Boyd Tinsley $25K USTA Women's Pro Tennis in Charlottesville, VA, another ITF event.

    (May 8) # 72 Anna Kournikova easily defeated Gabriela Volekova of Slovakia 6-0 6-2 on Thursday in the 2nd round of the ITF Cloister Cup at Sea Island, GA. Gabriela is currently unranked (the draw sheet gives her # 199* with an asterisk). The news is not yet online from the wire services, but has been reported by fans on the message boards at WTAworld.com.
In the QFs on Friday, Anna will play 5th seeded # 177 Sunitha Rao of the US. This match will take place on Stadium Court, not before 1:30pm EDT. The top seed in the tournament is # 43 Amy Frazier, and Anna's young compatriot Maria Sharapova is the 3rd seed and could face Anna in a semifinal (.pdf pages: draw -- daily schedule -- tournament fact sheet -- USTA news.

    (May 11) Anna Kournikova was forced to withdraw from yesterday's semifinal match against Maria Sharapova at the ITF Cloister Cup at Sea Island, GA, due to her lingering thigh muscle tear injury (see the stories below for more on this). Maria Sharapova defeated Christina Wheeler in the final on Sunday, 6-4, 6-3.

    (May 14) Qualifier # 384 Bruna Colosio of Brazil defeated top-seeded # 70 Anna Kournikova 6-2, 6(5)-7, 6-4 in the 1st round of the ITF Boyd Tinsley $25K USTA Pro Tennis Championships, in Charlottesville, VA (tourney fact sheet, .pdf). Bruna was ahead 5-2 in the 2nd set before Anna was able to get into the match.
Anna had entered the ITF tourneys this month to get more match time before the French Open; she was able to play 4 matches despite reinjuring her thigh last week, but surely she expected more. Trapped in an alternating pattern of injuries and early-round losses, Anna had played in only 6 singles matches this year prior to the 2 ITF events.
As was the case last week, Anna was not playing doubles at this tournament. Anna is not entered in next week's WTA Strasbourg tournament, and there has been no indication that she is entered in the Madrid Open next week either, so her next appearance may be in the French Open, beginning May 26 (Charlottesville .pdf pages: draw, schedule -- Forums: WTA World Charlotttesville, WTA World Anna at Charlotttesville, Kournikova.com Charlotttesville -- USTA news -- Charlottesville Daily Progress Sports Page).

    (May 18) Anna Kournikova appears to be resting this week, but she will be keeping busy afterwards. Anna has accepted a wild card for the DFS Classic at Birmingham, England June 9-15, the week following the French Open.
Anna's current rank of # 70 should have allowed her entry without a wild card, but she apparently entered late, and thus the wild card was necessary. Anna's compatriots # 13 Elena Dementieva and # 20 Elena Bovina are among the top-ranked entries, along with # 14 Eleni Daniilidou of Greece.

    (May 22) #78 Anna Kournikova has withdrawn from the French Open (starting next week) at Roland Garros, due to continuing problems with her torn left thigh muscle, incurred on April 9 at the Family Circle Cup and subsequently reinjured. This is very unfortunate, but it will have little impact on her current ranking. Anna lost in the 1st round last year, and thus does not have a lot of points she would need to replace in her total. Of course, she does miss out on the opportunity to raise her ranking. Anna will have two more weeks to recuperate, and then she should be back in action.
Anna said (in her official website "journal"): "I've been working on my rehab and fitness before going over to Europe. Unfortunately, I'm not yet match fit and won't be ready to play Roland Garros in Paris. But I'm looking forward to playing on grass (my favorite surface!) at Birmingham, Eastbourne and Wimbledon."
Adductor or abductor? When Anna was injured on April 9th, the original reports stated that it was an adductor muscle. Later reports have consistently said the injury is to an abductor muscle.
An adductor muscle is any muscle that pulls a limb toward the midline of the body.
An abductor muscle is any muscle used to pull a limb away from the midline of the body.
Its a torn left thigh muscle, okay?

    (June 4) The Russian daily Pravda, a gossipy tabloid in its current incarnation, has reported that Anna Kournikova has married Enrique Iglesias. The Philadelphia Inquirer had previously reported rumors that the two were to wed in the Dominican Republic, but the Knight Ridder service reports "A ravenous pack of photographers sped around the island in expense-account jeeps. Alas, it turned out to be a goose chase." The story does not seem particulary likely to be true.
Saturday, June 7th is truly Anna's 22nd birthday, and Monday she should be playing tennis the DFS Classic at Birmingham, GBR. Anna's return to consistent play will be a far better story than any pop star interactions she might have.

    (June 6) Enrique Iglesias told the Mexican daily Reforma that he and Anna Kournikova are not married, and have no plans. So Anna is still available. Does anyone have her phone number?
Next Week: Jose Feliciano will deny rumors that he and Anna are married, leading to an additional million album sales.
Anna's 22nd birthday is tomorrow, Saturday, June 7th.

    (June 7) Anna Kournikova's 22nd birthday is today. And she has gotten a pretty nice gift in the form of a pretty nice draw (.pdf) for the DFS Classic at Birmingham, GBR, where Anna will begin a month of grass court tennis on Monday or Tuesday. In the 1st round, # 77 Anna will play # 73 Dally Randriantefy of Madagascar. Anna has never played Dally, who is no pushover: she defeated # 26 Alexandra Stevenson in the 1st round at the French Open last week. But she's no Ven-- uh, Vera Zvonareva either.
Anna's 1st round match date & time have not yet been announced, but she is not playing Monday. If Anna defeats Dally, she will face either # 43 Tina Pisnik of Slovenia or # 87 Saori Obata of Japan in the 2nd round. Anna is not playing doubles in this tournament.

    (June 9) Anna Kournikova has withdrawn from the DFS Classic in Birmingham this week and the Hastings Direct International Championships in Eastbourne next week aggravating a chronic lumbar (back) injury while practicing. This is the same back problem that has troubled her since January. Anna was visibly very upset (in tears) in the clubhouse after the injury occurred during a 45 minuted practice session with her coach Harold Solomon. Anna remains entered at Wimbledon.
Anna said: "I'm very disappointed, actually devastated not to be able to play in Birmingham... Grass is my favorite surface and I love playing in England. So having to pull out because of my back is the last thing I wanted... I've been advised not to play this week or next week and I don't know any further than that... They said my injury was chronic because it keeps coming back. It's the same problems I've had since the Australian Open and it gives me referred pain in other areas. But it all comes from my back."

    (June 16) # 76 Anna Kournikova has withdrawn from Wimbledon (June 23-July 6) due to her chronic lumbar (back) injury, which was aggravated as she was practicing at Birmingham last week. If there is a bright side, it is only that Anna's rank will not fall much further by missing the tournament because she lost in the 1st round last year and doesn't have a lot of points to replace. Anna needs to heal properly so she can get back out and play regularly.

    (June 28) Anna Kournikova says she still plans to play World Team Tennis for the Kansas City Explorers in July, despite missing Wimbledon due to her chronic lumbar injury. Anna was quoted in an teleconference interview in the Kansas City Star on June 24.
Anna said: "I think World Team Tennis will be a perfect opportunity to get back into playing tournaments. I definitely hope to play everything [singles, doubles and mixed doubles]. But it's up to my health. I'm going to have to find a way to get through this. I know [the back problem] is not going to go away because it's something that's structurally wrong with my back from all the playing."
    (July 8) Due to her chronic lumbar spine injury, Anna Kournikova has withdrawn from the Rogers AT&T Cup Aug. 11 at the National Tennis Centre in Toronto.
Anna said: "I am disappointed that I will not be able to compete in Toronto next month. The events in Canada are always world class and I appreciate the support I receive from the Canadian fans."
There is no word yet on whether Anna is withdrawing from her World Team Tennis dates and the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford, CA, July 21. The Stanford tournament issued a press release 1 week ago stating that Anna was still expected to play. It remains possible that Anna wishes to test the injury at the earlier events, but does not wish to commit to an event where the injury may be aggravated so close to the US Open.

    (July 15) Anna Kournikova's agent Phil Depicciotto (of Octagon) has stated that Anna is still struggling with an inoperable chronic sprain of the lumbar spine, which she incurred at the Australian Open last January. Anna still intends to play World Team Tennis this week, but the Reuters story implied that she may play only the doubles events.
Depicciotto said: "Anna is unable to play a consistent tour schedule with her back the way it is now. And unless there is a marked improvement, her schedule will remain uncertain... After this week, she'll know a lot better how she feels... She won't play the Canadian Open in Toronto [Aug. 11] but, if she's feeling better, may ask for a wild card into New Haven [the Pilot Pen Open], which starts the week before the US Open."

Anna's upcoming schedule:
-- July 16-18: Anna is to play World Team Tennis July 16 in Philadelphia, July 17 in St. Louis, and July 18 in Kansas City with the Kansas City Explorers
-- July 21-27: Anna is scheduled (but might withdraw) for the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford, CA

    (July 16) Anna Kournikova is playing World Team Tennis tonight for the Kansas City Explorers vs the Philadelphia Freedoms in Radnor, Pennsylvania. Anna & the Explorers are scheduled to play the Aces in St. Louis on Thursday night, and on Friday night they will go "home" to Kansas City and take on the Aces again. Anna's teammates include Aniko Kapros and Rachel McQuillan.
Anna said: "This will be my first appearance in WTT, and I'm really looking forward to it! The team format should be lots of fun, and I think the fans will have a great time."

    (July 17) Anna Kournikova won both her matches in her World Team Tennis debut last night, playing for the Kansas City Explorers against the Philadelphia Freedoms in Radnor, Pennsylvania. Still suffering from a chronic sprain of the lumbar spine, Anna did not play singles. But teamed with Rick Leach in mixed doubles, Anna started out by hitting a winner on 1st point of the evening, and the pair defeated Elena Tatarkova & Nathan Healey, 5-2 (WTT matches consist of a single set).
    Later, in women's doubles, Anna and partner Aniko Kapros of Hungary defeated Tartakova & Jill Craybas, 5-4(4). The Explorers (now 4-4) as a team defeated the 1-7 Freedoms 24-17 (totaling the number of games won by each team -- full results). Anna & the Explorers are scheduled to play the Aces in St. Louis on Thursday night, and on Friday night they will go "home" to Kansas City and take on the Aces again.

    (July 18) Anna Kournikova again won both her matches in her 2nd night of World Team Tennis last night, playing for the Kansas City Explorers against the St. Louis Aces in St. Louis, Missouri.
    In mixed doubles Anna & Rick Leach defeated Nicole Arendt & John-Laffnie de Jager 5-2 (WTT matches consist of a single set). Anna even served up an ace to her male opponent de Jager. Then, in women's doubles, Anna and partner Aniko Kapros of Hungary defeated Arendt & Brie Rippner, 5-4(3). But Anna did not finish the match. By the time the score reached 2-2, Anna was limping a bit, apparently having twisted her ankle. Anna held serve to reach 3-2, then was replaced by teammate Rachel McQuillan, who finished the match while Anna iced her ankle.
    The Explorers (now 3-5) as a team were narrowly defeated by the 2-5 Aces 19-18 (totaling the number of games won by each team -- full results -- team standings). On Friday night Anna & the Explorers will go "home" to Kansas City and take on the Aces again, winding up Anna's stint of WTT play. Due to her injured ankle, there is a chance Anna will not play in KC, although she is making the trip. Anna is not playing singles in the WTT matches, due to her persistent low back injury.
    Anna said: "I was having a lot of fun. The fans were great, and I was really hoping to finish the match... I really hope to be able to play (tonight in Kansas City)."
    The Kansas City Star published a feature story about Anna's day in St. Louis, not really friendly, but not too hostile.

    (July 19) Anna Kournikova won both her matches for the third straight time in her final gig of World Team Tennis last night, playing for the Kansas City Explorers against the St. Louis Aces in Kansas City, Missouri.
    The WTT order of play varies from evening to evening. Last night Anna's 1st match was the 2nd of the night, where she and women's doubles partner Aniko Kapros of Hungary defeated Nicole Arendt & Brie Rippner, 5-2 (WTT matches consist of a single set).
    Mixed doubles was the 5th and final match last night, and Anna & Rick Leach defeated Nicole Arendt & John-Laffnie de Jager 5-4(3).
    The Explorers (now 4-5) as a team defeated the 2-6 Aces 23-19 (totaling the number of games won by each team -- full results -- team standings). Anna did not play singles in her WTT matches, due to her persistent low back injury.

    Anna has withdrawn from next week's Bank of the West Classic, due to her chronic lumbar spine injury. The announcement at the tourney website went so far as to say that Anna "is not planning to compete in any Tour Tournaments during the summer circuit, including the US Open." This has not been confirmed by other sources, although it is unfortunately a distinct possibility.
    About her back injury, on Friday Anna said: "Being on the court hasn't changed, but it gets harder and harder to go on with the X-rays and doing rehab. Playing two or three weeks in a row is tough. It's hard to concentrate on the tournament when you're thinking that you might have to pull out."

    Other recent comments by Anna:
    After withdrawing from Wimbledon: "It's been very difficult... As soon as I get healthy, things start to come up. It all comes from the back. It's very hard to maintain a physical level and good condition. As soon as I start to play a lot of matches, it starts to come back. It's hard to keep it in tune... Even if my back is OK, it refers down into my legs. It's been frustrating. As an athlete, I have to take it and try to be at my physical peak and take care of my body. That's my main goal right now. My health is most important."
    July 13 phone interview from Miami: "I'm not complaining. My life is great. It's been that way. I'm not able to compare it. I'm still a normal person, do all the normal things, the regular human-being things... It's not really surreal. That's my life. It's not as amazing or exciting or surreal as a lot of people make it out. I do a million things every day. I'm real busy, I work and play and do the normal things everybody does, it's just that a lot of time it's in the public eye. Instead of going to an office, I play tennis, I do appearances.
    "I think I've done a lot... I had a lot of great results when I was younger, before my main huge injury [left foot stress fracture] and having surgery in 2001. Before I had a screw put in my foot, I had great results. Since then, my body has been injured...
    "I've been playing 15 years. That can't be great for your body, the pounding all the time. I used to spend six, seven, eight hours on the court and my body is starting to let me know. Tennis-wise, as a player, I've gotten much better than my younger days...
    "I play tennis... There are people who do movies. Me, going to practice, that's my thing. ... That's my main priority. That's the thing I know how to do."
    July 17 in St. Louis: "I know I’ve been good in the past. As an athlete I put pressure on myself, but not because of what anyone else thinks... I’m really glad to be out here. It’s a great opportunity to play a match and be in front of a crowd. I miss it, being on the court. I love it."

    (July 25) # 76 Anna Kournikova, as expected, has NOT entered the US Open (which begins August 25th; the official entry list was fixed today). Although her rank would have earned her an automatic place in the draw, Anna's persistent low back trouble (lumbar spine) is keeping her from rejoining the WTA tour at this time.

    (July 29) Anna Kournikova's agent Phil De Picciotto told the French sports daily L'Equipe that Anna may never be able to return to the WTA tour on a regular basis. De Picciotto said: "Considering the state of her back, Anna is unable to compete in tournaments regularly. The past six months have proved that she has a real desire to play, but even if she feels better, she is not fit enough to play as much as she used to."

    (Aug 3) The August 2003 issue of Maxim magazine, currently on newsstands, features Anna Kournikova on the cover. There is a short interview of Anna, probably made a number of weeks ago, along with several photos. Anna looks great as always, but the photos are overly airbrushed, and if anyone doesn't need airbrushing, its Anna Kournikova.
    In the interview, asked about all the media distortions of her, Anna said: "When I go out, I love to just have fun and not think about anything. But then I wake up the next day and I read about it in the paper. Yeah, that's a lot of fun. Ninety-nine percent of the things I read about, I did'nt even do them! Whether I'm being careful or really enjoying myself and having fun, it doesn't matter--the next day they write whatever they want to write about me anyway...
    "My life is really not so exciting as they make it out to be. My life is much more simple. If I were to go out and set straight every single rumor, I would have no time to do anything else."

    (Aug 14) Anna Kournikova will be profiled on the program True Hollywood Story on the E! cable TV channel on Sunday, August 17, at 9 pm (and subsequent reruns).

    (Aug 14) Anna Kournikova will play an exhibition on November 9th against current # 37 Tamarine Tanasugarn in Pattaya, Thailand. Anna will arrive in Pattaya on November 6th, to participate in tourism promotional activities.

click to view larger     (Aug 23) Although she is not playing in this year's US Open due to her chronic lumbar injury, Anna Kournikova will appear on the USA Network's US Open TV coverage as an entertainment reporter during the tournament.

    Anna will contribute pop culture stories and celebrity interviews during the Grand Slam event, which begins Monday at the National Tennis Center at Flushing Meadows, NY.

    USA Network Executive Producer Gordon Beck said: "Anna joins USA to provide part of the fun and sizzle in our coverage."


Anna took part in the festivities at the US Open's Kids Day on Sunday, August 23, 2003

    (Sept 3) Anna Kournikova spent only 3 days doing US Open interviews for the USA Network, but company spokesman Tom Caraccioli said: "We'd only contracted for her to work three days and that's the way it went down... Then again, who knows what opportunities will arise for her in the future." Anna reportedly said she had trouble with fans mobbing her while she was trying to do interviews, and that she didn't like putting other players on the spot.
    In this reporter's opinion, Anna would have been much better off in the broadcast booth doing color commentary on matches. She obviously knows the game, and has an excellent speaking voice, making her a natural for that job. Hopefully she will do some commentary, eventually.
    But it would also be nice if she can play tennis again for a decade or so first.

    (Sept 5) Sports Illustrated writer Frank Deford has written a short article defending Anna Kournikova from those who say she can't play. Although he doesn't go into detail, Deford says:

    "remember, before Anna suffered some serious injuries she was a really terrific young player, top 10. But all her jealous critics ever do is remind us that Anna's never won a tournament. It's like part of her name. Anna Kournikova, who's never won a tournament, brushed her teeth this morning."

    (Of course, it should be mentioned that the "hasn't won" refers only to WTA singles titles-- Anna has won 16 WTA doubles titles with 6 different partners, including 2 Grand Slams, and she won 2 ITF singles titles as well as numerous juniors titles when she was younger...)

    (Sept 12) Although her chronic lumbar injury is keeping her off the WTA Tour (probably for the rest of the season, at least) Anna Kournikova is planning to play less demanding exhibitions this fall. Anna has been scheduled to play an exhibition match against # 4 Lindsay Davenport on November 14 at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. This will be a stop on Anna's return from Pattaya, Thailand, where she is due to arrive Nov. 6 to play a Nov. 9 exhibition against Thai native # 32 Tamarine Tanasugarn.
    Anna said: "I'm really looking forward to participating in this event and to playing against Lindsay, who is a great competitor. I haven't had the chance to play in Vancouver before so I am very excited to have this opportunity."
    This month, Anna is participating the World TeamTennis Smash Hits benefit that will take place on Thursday, September 25th at 7:30 pm at the FleetCenter in Boston. Andre Aggasi will also be there.

click to view larger     (Sept 15) Anna Kournikova was in Taipei, Taiwan on Monday, September 15, 2003, to promote the Omega Watch Co.'s Bijoux jewelry brand.
    Anna did some catwalk modeling as well.

Anna emerged from an Omega box in front of a giant poster

    (Oct 6) Anna Kournikova's agent Phil de Picciotto told The Observer newspaper last weekend that the chance of Anna's return to WTA tournaments was "undetermined".
    De Picciotto said: "I wouldn't put odds on it. She's playing some exhibitions later in the year and then she will see more from there... Playing too many days in a row, too many weeks in a row, is a problem. Playing on occasions is not a problem. So the question is, as it would be for any top-level player, can she sustain the rigours of a year-long circuit that basically has no off season?"
    De Picciotto also stated that Anna is no longer being coached by Harold Solomon, who trained Anna last year and earlier this year.
    The BBC reports that Anna has a chronic sprain of the lumbar spine (low back). Previous reports called it a chronic strain of the lumbar spine. Either way, the condition which is inoperable, and leads to referred pain in other parts of her body.

(Oct 9) Anna Kournikova is in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, this week at the Abierto del Caribe festival, possibly playing in a tennis exhibition match and apparently doing some modeling as well. story in spanish -- english translation via AltaVista

(Oct 11) Anna Kournikova will be in Monte Carlo on Sunday, October 12, to co-host the 15th annual World Music Awards at the Monte Carlo Sporting Club.

(Oct 13) Last night, at the World Music Awards in Monte Carlo, Anna Kournikova said she might have to permanently retire from playing WTA tennis due to her chronic low back trouble. Anna might instead pursue an acting career.
Anna said: "They say my injury is chronic because it keeps coming back. I do not want to go on playing unless I can participate 100 per cent, as I don't like pulling out of tournaments at the last minute. I am still working out regularly and doing exercises on my back. I can still do occasional exhibition games, but I can't cope with the rigorous schedule of major tournaments. At the end of the day my health is the most important thing I have and I don't want to risk losing that...
"Acting and presenting are definitely things I enjoy doing. I'd love to appear in something like Sex and The City or Friends. I get offered lots of those sorts of jobs but I've never had time to pursue them because of my tennis.

(Oct 16) Despite Anna Kournikova's statement that she may have to retire from WTA tennis, she is still, not surprisingly, in demand. ASB Classic tournament director Richard Palmer has stated that he is still actively pursuing getting Anna to Auckland, New Zealand for the tournament, in January, 2004.

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Anna arrives at awards
(Oct 22) Anna Kournikova was in New York last night at the 8th Annual GQ 'Men of the Year' Awards, looking much better than any of them.

(Nov 1) Anna Kournikova, although sidelined from the daily grind of the WTA Tour by a chronic low back injury, is able to play the occasional match. So after the women's singles final in Pattaya on Sunday, Nov. 9, Anna will play local hero # 33 Tammy Tanasugarn of Thailand in an exhibition match. Anna will also take part in other promotional activities in while in Pattaya (she will arrive there on or before Sat, Nov 8).

(Nov 1) Not Retiring!: Anna Kournikova gave a phone interview this week to the Portland Oregonian.
Anna said: "They can write what they want. You know they're always trying to get big headlines in London. I'm not retiring. Right now, I have more time to do other things until my back fully recovers. They sensationalized that and the headline said 'Anna's retiring,' but that's not true. I'm just trying to get fully recovered."

The interviewer was apparently more interested in sounding cool than in asking Anna useful questions, but at least we have her clear statement that she does not want to stop playing.

Anna will play a single set against # 27 South African Amanda Coetzer in the "Superset Tennis" exhibition Nov. 22 at the Rose Quarter Arena in Portland, Oregon.

click to see more photos
at hotel
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practicing
(Nov 7, 2003) Anna Kournikova is in Pattaya, Thailand for a 3 day promotional visit. Although sidelined from the daily grind of the WTA Tour by a chronic low back injury, Anna is able to play the occasional match. So after the Volvo Cup WTA women's singles final in Pattaya on Sunday, Nov. 9, Anna will play local hero # 33 Tammy Tanasugarn of Thailand in an exhibition match. Anna is also taking part in other promotional activities in while in Pattaya.

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Anna against Tammy
(Nov 9, 2003) Although the score is tough to find, online forums report that Anna Kournikova defeated # 33 Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand 2-6, 6-4 (10-6 tiebreak) in an exhibition match in Pattaya, Thailand today. The photo shows that Anna was very happy to be playing. In a post-match press conference, Anna reiterated to reporters that she has no intention of retiring from pro tennis.

Anna said: "I still love tennis and want to play, but I have a chronic back condition which makes it impossible to play more than a week at a time. As an athlete you must expect injuries and you have to learn how to deal with it, but it is very frustrating. But I really enjoyed playing against Tammy."
Asked about surgery for her back, Anna said: That is one of the options I'm looking at. I hate needles, but I have to look at everything."

About suggestions that she would rather be an actress than play tennis, Anna said: "When there is no information about me there will always be rumours. I should hold up a sign. My number one priority is tennis. That's what I want to do, far above anything else."

(Nov 13, 2003) Anna Kournikova arrived at Chattrapathi Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai, India (near Bombay) on Tuesday, Nov 11. Anna was then taken 80 km to the 2,000-hectare Amby Valley "Sahara Lake City" resort, where Anna will be playing a promotional match and will be part of the "I Love Amby Valley" project of Sahara. Anna is scheduled to hold a press conference JW Marriott hotel in Mumbai on Nov 14.

click to see more photos (Nov 14, 2003) Anna Kournikova told reporters in Mumbai, India, today that although it is difficult to say when she will fully recover from the chronic lumbar (low back) injury that forced her to stop playing WTA tennis, she hopes to be playing by next spring.
Anna said: "I'm hoping to be fully fit by March next year... I hope to be back by March, but I still can't say for sure."

Anna on Friday

About her visit to India, Anna said: "It has been a very fascinating experience for me. I have enjoyed the hospitality of Indians, and their culture has really interested me."
Asked about having not yet won a WTA singles title Anna said: "Initiatlly, I was inexperienced, and now I am injured, and I am sure things will work out for me in near future... I've always been a tennis player, and never a full time model."
Anna has won 16 WTA doubles titles with 6 different partners, including 2 Grand Slam titles. Unless all of tennis is rigged, her lack of a WTA singles title can only be attributed to a bizarre fluke of chance.

After the press conference, Anna left India to return to the US. Anna was to play an exhibition Nov 14th at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, BC, Canada against # 4 Lindsay Davenport; Lindsay had toe surgery recently, so the event was cancelled, and Anna went to India instead.

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Anna defeating Carly
(Nov 23, 2003) At the Superset Tennis exhibition in Portland, Oregon, on Sunday, Anna Kournikova defeated almost 17-year-old # 226 Carly Gullickson in the afternoon session 6-2, but lost to Carly in the night session 3-6 ("Superset" meaning they play single sets). Anna was to play # 25 Amanda Coetzer of South Africa, but Amanda got stuck in Australia somehow, and Carly filled in.

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Anna on Saturday
(Dec 7, 2003) Anna Kournikova arrived in León, Spain, yesterday to play an exhibition against retired former WTA star Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario in a bullring today. 7,500 of the 10,000 seats available were sold in advance; the match should be well over by this writing, but no results are yet available online.

Arantxa won 29 WTA singles titles (including 3 French & 1 US Opens) and 67 WTA doubles titles during her career, which began in 1985. Arantxa attained the # 1 ranking in 1995; she retired after the 2002 season.

Anna might be playing an exhibition in Houston next year during the River Oaks International tourney, April 5-11, 2004 (Anna might also be playing WTA tennis again by then). Tournament director Van Barry said: "We've been in discussions with Anna Kournikova... Hopefully we'll know soon."

click to see article
In case you missed it, there is another of the seldom seen "Anna is not so awful" articles online, this one from late August by Stacey Pressman of ESPN, titled Don't hate her because she's beautiful. Stacey says:
"...my time with her belied her reputation and my preconceived notions...
"She was punctual, agreeable and arrived with no entourage.
"She's engaging and friendly. She kissed everyone hello and goodbye.
"She's self-deprecating and funny..."

Anna in August

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Anna & Aranxta on Sunday
(Dec 8, 2003) Retired former WTA singles # 1 Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario of Spain defeated Anna Kournikova 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 yesterday in an exhibition match held in a bullring in León, Spain.

6,200 attended the 1 hour, 44 minute match, although 7,500 tickets were said to have been sold in advance.
Anna said afterward that the outcome was not important; she was glad to get together again with Arantxa, a friend she always enjoys. Anna will be spending Christmas at home in Miami with her parents, Sergei & Alla.
article in Spanish -- English via AltaVista
interview in Spanish -- English via AltaVista.

(Dec 13, 2003) The Palm Beach Daily Business Review reports that Anna Kournikova has sold her Miami Beach condominium at Portofino Tower to her short-term former husband Sergei Federov for the "moderate" price of $1.63 million. The four-bedroom condo is said to have four levels and a rooftop pool and bar, and was put up for sale in April, 2002. Other condos for sale in the Tower range from $399,000 to $5.2 million.
Anna's current home is reportedly a "$5 million beach house on Sunset Island 3."

(Jan 24, 2004) 17-year-old Russian WTA # 48 Dinara Safina had kind words for Anna Kournikova while speaking to reporters at this year's Australian Open. After her 3rd-round loss to # 2 Kim Clijsters, Dinara said: "Women's tennis, in Russia and around the world, is popular because of Kournikova. A lot of players want to be like her. She was in the semifinal of Wimbledon and in the top 10 . . . I think she did a lot for women's tennis."
Anna is not in Melbourne this year due to her chronic low back pain, which has kept her off the tour since early last year. Anna does intend to return to WTA play, possibly this spring.

click to see Anna's SI photos online
Anna in 2004 SI-SE
(Feb 10, 2004) Anna Kournikova and Serena Williams (and a few other athletes) will be featured in this year's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Some of the pics can be seen online now (click on the link), the hard copy goes on sale tomorrow, Feb 11th.


More kind words: Anna has a friend in Russian-born Frenchwoman Tatiana Golovin, who turned 16 while reaching the 4th round of last month's Australian Open, during which her ranking rose about 200 places.
In a Paris interview on Feb 8, Tatiana was asked what she thought about being known as the “French Kournikova." Tatiana said: "I think that’s nice. I know Anna very well; she is a very nice girl. She also belonged to the Top 10, which is one of my objectives as well."

A short article on the Contact Music website reports (without referring to the source) that Anna recently said: "My injury is much better and I am starting to train again. With luck I should be able to return to tennis by the summer."

click to see WTA photo gallery
Anna in Memphis
(Feb 17, 2004) Although not yet back on the WTA Tour due to her chronic back injury, Anna Kournikova was at The Racquet Club in Memphis, TN yesterday for the Kroger St. Jude tourney. Anna presented a check to St. Jude's Children's Hospital, talked to fans and signed autographs. Last year Anna presented a check for $30,000 to St. Jude's (she had won a skills challenge at the 2002 US Open and designated St. Jude's as her charity).


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Anna in Las Vegas
(Feb 23, 2004) Anna Kournikova was at the Bellagio Resort in Las Vegas on Saturday for the 2nd anniversary of the Light nightclub there. Newspaper accounts associated Anna with no fewer than 3 male companions while she was seen in public, but Anna doesn't like to talk about her private life, so reporters are likely to exaggerate it. Anna may have been in Las Vegas to see this reporter, but she probably doesn't know the address of the shelter where I have been residing the past 6 years.


(Mar 2, 2004) In a Reuters story on the advance of Russian tennis, current WTA # 7 Anastasia Myskina credited Anna Kournikova with attracting investment to improve the Russian women's game.
Anastasia said: "[Former Russian President Boris] Yeltsin brought sponsorship and people who wanted to give money to the girls, and Anna changed things a lot as well. She was the one who began all these things."
Anastasia, born in Moscow 1 month and 1 day after Anna, received her early training at Moscow's Spartak Academy along with Anna when both were aged in the single digits.

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Anna in Singapore
(Mar 5, 2004) Globetrotter Anna Kournikova is in Singapore today, launching a new line of Omega watches. It is Anna's first trip to the former British colony, located in Southeast Asia at the tip of the Malay peninsula.
Speaking to reporters in Singapore, Anna said: "Right now, my main focus is to get healthy and get back on court, hopefully I will be playing by the end of summer."

(Mar 6, 2004) Anna Kournikova made a further statement about how soon she might be able to return to the WTA tour. Speaking to the press in Singapore, Anna said: "I'm training now and I'm going to make an evaluation in two months to see if I can start playing in the middle of summer... We'll see how I feel. I want to come back 100 per cent. Then I can really feel good on the court."

(Apr 4, 2004) Anna Kournikova will play an exhibition against Carly Gullickson on April 8th at the River Oaks Country Club in Houston, Texas. Anna is also negotiating to play World Team Tennis again this summer. As for returning to the WTA Tour, last week in a phone interview from Indonesia Anna said: "I definitely have the desire to return. I only want to come back if I'm 100 percent, if my body can withstand the six-hours-a-day practices and playing matches. I don't want to do it halfway." article

(Apr 9, 2004) Anna Kournikova was forced to withdraw from her scheduled exhibition against Carly Gullickson in Houston, Texas, yesterday due to illness. The tournament chairman, Bill Hurt, said that when he met Anna at the airport "She was obviously jet-lagged and very tired, and she had a very raspy voice... She told me her doctor had diagnosed her with walking pneumonia." Carly Gullickson said: "It's unfortunate... I was really looking forward to the experience." article

(Apr 26, 2004) Anna Kournikova will be playing World Team Tennis this summer for the Kansas City Explorers for the 2nd straight year. Anna's WTT schedule includes matches in New York on July 6th and 8th, in Hartford, Connecticut on July 9, and in Kansas City (hosting Philadelphia) on July 10. Anna's teammates will include Silvija Talaja of Croatia and Australian Rachel McQuillan.

(May 18, 2004) Earlier stories by the Calcutta Telegraph and China's Xinhua News Agency that Anna Kournikova would play two matches with little-known Chinese players in May were apparently premature, since no matches have been reported to have taken place. It was said that Anna would play Yang Shujing on May 16 in Changsha, capital of central China’s Hunan Province, and then play Hunan’s Ag Ain on May 17 in Shenzhen City in south China’s Guangdong Province. Anna is reportedly throwing out the first pitch tonight in Arlington, Texas when the Royals play the Rangers (that's MLB, not NHL). Unfortunately, the only other current "news" about Anna is the same old senseless gossip.

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Anna sailing on Monday
(June 1, 2004) Anna Kournikova was in Plymouth, England on May 31st to give the official start of the Transat 2004 transatlantic yacht race at Plymouth Sound. Anna, representing the Omega watch company, an event sponsor, also received sailing lessons on an "Open 50" class racing yacht in the morning from veteran sailor Ellen MacArthur.

Anna said: "The sailing today was great. It was rainy and windy but I had a lot of fun with Ellen because she clearly explained how the boat works, and about sailing in general. I really enjoyed it... My experience today has definitely given me inspiration and I can imagine how it's easy to get really interested in the sport of sailing."

(June 7, 2004) Anna Kournikova is 23 years old today. Happy birthday, Anna, and we hope that this year you find a orthopedist, or chiropractor, or rolfer who can get you back on the WTA Tour, where you can shut up the schmucks who think they sell more newspapers by claiming you aren't a good tennis player.


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