The Russian professional tennis player Anna Kournikova is one of the most popular female tennis players in the world today. She has achieved the status of a celebrity in spite of her not winning even one WTA singles title. She became so famous that there even came a time when her name was one of the most commonly searched in Google.
The striking tennis player hails from Moscow. She was born on June 7, 1981 to Sergei and Alla Kournikov who were both involved in sports. From the very beginning, a love for sports has been running in her family.
Her father, who taught at the University of Physical Culture and Sport, holds a championship title for Greco-Roman wrestling. He also worked as a part-time martial arts instructor in the university. Her mother used to run in the 400-meter race.
Her parents’ love for sports provided the best background for Anna Kournikova to have the same kind of passion. The girl’s love affair with tennis began when she received her first tennis racquet at 5 years old. The racquet was given to her as a gift.
The young girl quickly felt a liking for the sport. When she turned 6, she joined a children’s program for tennis wherein she played twice a week. Although the games were just for fun and her parents just let her join them so that she would have something to get busy with, she did not realize that those days would actually be the start of her training for professional tennis.
When she was 8 years old, she began playing in junior tournaments. And at the young age of 9 years old, she was already getting the attention of tennis scouts from different parts of the world. Eventually, she landed a contract when she was 10 to train at the academy of famous tennis coach Nick Bollettieri.
She immediately showed prowess in the international tennis scene. The tennis player bagged the European Junior Championships at the age of 14 and also won the Italian Open Junior tournament. Anna Kournikova won the Junior Orange Bowl tournament in the 18 and under division, being the youngest person to have won in that division.
Her professional career has been a successful one, particularly in 2002 when she made it to the semifinals of several international tournaments. She also made it to China Open’s finals, which turned out to be the last singles finals she would play. However, she lost the game to Anna Smashnova.
Her first slam win came in 2003 during the Australian Open. She won against Henrieta Nagyova during the first round. Unfortunately, she suffered from a sprained back during the games and had to withdraw from other tournaments afer the Australian Open.
At present, the professional tennis career of Anna Kournikova has been put to a halt because of problems in her spine. She has stopped playing professional tennis apart from the occasional games in the St. Louis Aces World Team Tennis. In spite of these, she continues to enjoy celebrity status.