Anna Kournikova Biography 1. The Early Years   2. Professional Career   3. Anna Offcourt

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The Private Life of Anna Kournikova
    When Anna has finished her daily training (3-5 hrs oncourt, 1 hr conditioning): "I like to go out onto the beach, rollerblade, be in the sun, swim - I love anything to do with the water. Or I'll just go grocery shopping. I have to go somewhere, do something, I can't sit in one place!"

    But Anna does not have the night life the media suggests: "...I like to get my beauty sleep! I get home at about 7:30 PM, then just watch TV and go to bed."

  Anna Kournikova at Home

    Anna owns a house in the Miami, Florida area, but cannot spend much time there because her tournament schedule keeps her traveling 35 to 40 weeks out of the year. Her current home is reportedly a "$5 million beach house on Sunset Island 3." She had previously been living (when away from the WTA tour) in a four-bedroom Portofino Tower penthouse with four levels and a rooftop pool and bar, which was put up for sale in April, 2002.

    She has said that her main interests apart from tennis are "Shopping, the beach, eating - especially chocolate." She can sometimes be seen eating chocolate during breaks between games during a match, and in another interview said her weakness offcourt was "Chocolate! Anything chocolate." Although Anna doesn't observe a regimented diet, but her eating is not out of control: "I don't eat three desserts, or anything like that, but I'm working out and training every day so I don't worry about what I eat." When you watch Anna play, you are seeing the "real" Anna: "My hair gets bleached by the sun, I've never dyed it. And I never wear make-up when I'm playing, I don't have time to even think about that." 7, 8

    Anna has a dog, a miniature doberman named "Genie". The dog once made the news when an airliner crew claimed Anna and her mother Alla refused to keep Genie in a carrying case (which they denied). Anna says: "I love Dobermans. They look like horses, so graceful. I had one when I was little, so I love that dog." 2

    In an interview in July, 2002, Anna said: "I don't like to talk about myself that much. I get shy sometimes. People don't realize that. [In public] I'm kind of always on the defense because I'm used to people grabbing at me a little bit. But if I'm with my friends at my house, I can laugh and joke. With people I don't know well, I'm thinking maybe they want to take something from me. I'm not as comfortable." 9

    Anna's parents, Alla and Sergei Kournikov, traveled with Anna to her tournaments (usually acting as her coaches) for most of her career. But after the Italian Open in May, 2002, they stopped this practice, possibly to eliminate any possible distraction from Anna's tennis career. Anna hired coach Harold Solomon to help her return to her pre-stress-fracture form at about the same time. Solomon said: "...that's Anna's choice. I definitely didn't say anything like 'It's me or your parents' [as coaches]." The usually overeager media has made no insinuations about Anna and her coach "getting involved". "The only reason I hesitated at all," Solomon said about becoming Kournikova's coach, "is that I still have a 16-year-old son and my wife at home and traveling is the toughest thing." Alla and Sergei are presumably spending more time in Anna's otherwise empty Florida home, or traveling to Moscow, where the last word was that Sergei was still teaching occasionally. 10


    At a party in Filderstadt, Germany, during the 2001 Porsche Grand Prix of Tennis (2nd week of October). On the far left is Anke Cervellini, wife of Porsche finance director, Udo Cervellini. Then, from left to right, Anna's mother Alla, Anna, and Anna's father Sergei Kournikov.

  Anna Kournikova and the Opposite Sex

    In 1999, Anna was reported to have a relationship with Russian NHL player Sergei Fedorov, and then in 2000 with a former teammate of Fedorov's, Pavel Bure. Bure, a Florida Panthers winger who bought a condominium in Portofino Tower (the same apartment building Anna was living in) later told reporters that he was engaged to her. This did not turn out to be true, or the engagement fell through. In Feburary, 2001, Anna was reported to be seeing Federov again. Then, in July of that year while Anna was recovering from a stress fracture of her left foot, the British tabloid Evening Standard reported that Anna had gotten married to Sergei Federov. Anna's father Sergei Kournikova immediately denied the story, saying: "Anna is in Florida at the moment and has begun training. I think she would be very surprised to hear about this latest rumor." Later, Anna also issued a statement that she was definitely not married, saying: "Those are just false rumours. The British tabloids make stuff up".

    In early March 2003, in an interview in The Hockey News magazine, Fedorov stated 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. Fedorov's mother told reporters in July, 2001 that the two had been married in a Moscow registry office. 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).
    Asked about the story at a post-match interview in Key Biscayne on March 20, 2003, 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)

    Unfortunately, once a paper (even one known for inventing stories to get attention, like the Evening Standard and the current Pravda) prints a story, other papers pick it up and spread it everywhere. And if Anna is seen to be friendly with any male, the press is eager to make a story out of it any way they can, as they did early in 2001 when she was seen with Australian ATP player Mark Philippoussis.
    And then, of course, there was the 2002 ruckus about topless photos allegedly of Anna, which turned out to be of someone else entirely. If you see claims of topless, nude, or pornographic photos of Anna anywhere, you can be sure they are fake. Her 2001 poster photos (taken in Acapulco when Anna was recovering from her stress fracture) are as racy as it gets, but Anna looks so good fully clothed and smiling that she doesn't need to make any special effort to attract male attention.
    Most recently, the tabloids (and the wire services and papers that echo what they print) have claimed that Anna is deeply involved with Miami-based pop singer Enrique Iglesias. What does Anna say about Iglesias? "I made a video with him because the record company asked me to. I turned up for the shoot in LA and it was fun... That kiss in the video is what started all the rumours. There is absolutely no truth in them. I'm only 21, I'm not thinking about the future or settling down. And don't even talk to me about having children. I'm just concentrating on being a better tennis player."8

    Because of this kind of "journalism", Anna resists and resents efforts by the press to pry to deeply into her personal life. But she has made some general statements about men in magazine interviews.
    Anna has said that she has time for a man in her life, but "...he would have to be understanding. He would have to understand that often I will be travelling and playing." When Anna is asked what she looks for in a man, she says: "...he just has to be himself. It has to come naturally... You can't wish for something specific, because you might get that and be disappointed. You just have to feel it." On another occasion, she said: "Honesty, strength, blond - oh no, then all the boys will dye their hair. He just has to be gentle but strong, with a big heart. He has to know what it takes, how hard it is to succeed." And in another interview, she put it this way: "He has to be happy, have a good heart, and understand what it takes to work. And be honest, of course." 2, 6, 7

Previous: 1. The Early Years   2. Professional Career
References:

1: Kournikova:
The Player

by Peter Bodo
Tennis Magazine
May, 2001

2: Interview
by Richard Calpin
FHM Sept. 2001

3: Kournikova, Anna
by Patrick Kelly
Current Biography
Jan. 2002 p. 74

4: New York Times
April 23, 1992
B, p. 13

5: Player Profile:
Anna Kournikova
at WTATour.com

6: Interview
Inside Sport
December, 1999

7: Interview
Hola Magazine
August 24th, 1999

8: Interview
Sunday Herald
June 23, 2002

9: Interview
by Matthew Cronin
tennisreporters.net
July 26, 2002

10: Interview with
Harold Solomon
Toronto Globe-Mail
August 14, 2002

Anna Kournikova Post-Match Interviews
at QuickSports

Other Sources:

Sports Illustrated
June 6, 2000

POV
August, 1999



 

Anna Kournikova pages at quickfound.net:

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