Real name: Anya Kournikova
Birthdate: June 7, 1981
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Anna Sergeyevna Kournikova (Russian: Анна Сергеевна Курникова (listen (help·info)), Anna Sergeevna Kurnikova; born June 7, 1981) is a retired Russian professional tennis player and model. Although she never won a singles tournament, she became one of the best known tennis players worldwide. At the peak of her fame, fans looking for images of Kournikova made her name (or misspellings of it) one of the most common search strings on Google.
She was born in Moscow in the former Soviet Union to Alla and Sergei Kournikov; she and her mother later emigrated to the United States. Currently, she resides in Miami Beach, Florida.
Kournikova's playing style fits the profile for a doubles player, and is complemented by her height. She has been compared to such players as Pam Shriver and Peter Fleming.
At ages 13 and 14, Kournikova made headlines in international junior tennis, winning several tournaments including the 1995 Italian Open. She was 14 years old when she ended 1995 as Junior European Champion Under 18 and ITF Junior World Champion Under 18.
Kournikova was a member of the Russian delegation to the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1997, as a 16-year-old, she reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon, where she lost to the eventual champion, Martina Hingis by a score of 6-3, 6-2. 1998 was her breakthrough year, when she broke into the WTA's top 20 rankings for the first time and scored impressive victories over Martina Hingis, Lindsay Davenport, and Steffi Graf. Kournikova's two Grand Slam doubles titles came in 1999 and 2002, both at the Australian Open in the Women's Doubles event with partner Martina Hingis, with whom she played frequently starting in 1999.
Kournikova proved a successful doubles player on the professional circuit, winning 16 tournament doubles titles, including two Australian Opens and being a finalist in mixed doubles at the U.S. Open and at Wimbledon, and reaching the No.1 ranking in doubles in the Women's Tennis Association tour rankings. Her pro career doubles record was 200-71. However, her singles career plateaued after 1999. For the most part, she managed to retain her ranking between 10 and 15 (her career high singles ranking was No.8), but her expected finals breakthrough failed to occur; she only reached four finals out of 130 singles tournaments, never in a Grand Slam event, and never won one. As a player, Kournikova was noted for her footspeed and aggressive baseline play and excellent angles and dropshots; however, her flat, high-risk groundstrokes tended to produce high numbers of errors and her serve was sometimes unreliable in singles. Her singles record is 209-129.
In November 2005, she teamed up with Martina Hingis, playing against Lisa Raymond and Samantha Stosur in the WTT finals for charity. Kournikova is also a member of the Sacramento Capitals in the World Team Tennis (WTT), playing doubles only.
In 2000, Kournikova became the new face for Berlei's shock absorber sports bras range, and appeared in the highly successful "only the ball should bounce" bill board campaign. Photographs of her scantily-clad form have appeared in various men's magazines, including more than one much-publicized Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue (2004 – 2005), where she posed in bikinis and swimsuits, and in other popular men's publications such as FHM and Maxim.