Born in Russia in 1981, Anna Kournikova moved to the United States at age 10 to pursue professional tennis. She advanced to the 1997 Wimbledon semifinals, and won a pair of Grand Slam doubles titles, but despite her early promise she never won a WTA title. Known for her beauty, Kournikova has also enjoyed a successful modeling career, and served as a trainer for a season on The Biggest Loser.
Early Life and Career
Tennis player Anna Sergeyevna Kournikova was born on June 7, 1981, in Moscow, Russia. The daughter of Alla and Sergei Kournikov, Anna began playing tennis at age 5. She was competing in the juniors a few years later, and at age 10 she headed to the United States to train at Nick Bollettieri's famed Florida tennis academy. Kournikova subsequently won several international junior tennis tournaments, and was declared the ITF Junior World Champion in 1995.
Kournikova displayed impressive form in her matches soon after turning professional in 1995. She reached the fourth round of the U.S. Open at age 15 in 1996, and the following year she advanced to the semifinals at Wimbledon. Kournikova also paired with Swiss star Martina Hingis to win the Australian Open doubles championship in 1999 and 2002. However, although she showed flashes of brilliance against some of her top-ranked peers, Kournikova never won a WTA title. She reached the finals of four tournaments, and achieved a career-high ranking of No. 8 in 2000.
Despite her lack of significant victories in singles play, Kournikova's fame grew steadily thanks to her modeling career and publicity surrounding her personal life. This media attention often focused on romantic liaisons with such celebrities as pop star Enrique Iglesias and hockey player Sergei Fedorov. She also attempted a career in acting, appearing briefly in the 2000 comedy Me, Myself & Irene.
Hampered by injuries, Kournikova played her last official WTA match in early 2003, though she continued to compete in exhibition matches and on the World TeamTennis circuit. She also served as a trainer on Season 12 of The Biggest Loser, which aired in 2011.
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