She was a tennis player but became the sex symbol of the period: Who is Anna Kournikova?

When Google started implementing image search on its site (almost 20 years ago) Anna Kournikova was always in the top 10 most searched people and was one of the few tennis players known worldwide. Her beauty was what people were looking for more than sports, and she became a sex symbol of the era.

By Stephen McWright Published on 4 Haziran 2024 : 14:13.
She was a tennis player but became the sex symbol of the period: Who is Anna Kournikova?

Although her talent on the court made him one of the best, different physical problems caused him to retire at a young age, thus ending her days in the spotlight.

Born in Moscow, Russia, the daughter of an athlete family, the tennis player was first noticed as a teenager at the 1996 US Open when she was 15 years old. At the age of 14, she won the European Championship and the Italian Junior Open and also became the International Tennis Federation junior champion. She attracted attention for her physical appearance, which would eventually lead to her becoming a well-known face in sports and men's magazines.

Anna Sergeyevna Kournikova (born 7 June 1981) is a Russian model and television personality, and former professional tennis player. Her appearance and celebrity status made her one of the best known tennis stars worldwide. At the peak of her fame, fans looking for images of Kournikova made her name one of the most common search strings on Google Search.

She began to rise in the rankings each year and became one of the biggest breakout names in the sport.

Although the athlete never won a singles tournament, she was quite successful in doubles, playing alongside Martina Hingis, with whom she won the Grand Slam in Australia in 1999 and 2002, and also won the WTA in 1999 and 2000.

Her best-known period was 1998 when she was ranked 16th in the WTA rankings. However, at the Australian Open that year, she lost to then-No. 1 Martina Hingis. At that time, she also matched with Larisa Savchenko-Nieland. In 2000, she won the Gold Coast Open with Julie Hallard and also reached the No. 8 singles and No. 4 doubles rankings.

In parallel with her successes, Anna Kournikova was famous for speculation about her beauty and private life, always refusing to answer questions that were not related to sports.

This increased at the turn of the century when she was featured in Sports Illustrated magazine, FHM and Maxim, where she posed in swimming costumes, and was mentioned in "most beautiful or sexiest women" lists, the main factor driving Google Images searches.

Her beauty was what people were looking for more than sports, and she became the sex symbol of the era.

Of course, at that time, she also appeared in Enrique Iglesias' video "Escape" and she and Iglesias began a relationship with him.

But then what happened to Kournikova?

In 2001, the athlete began to suffer various injuries, such as fractures, which caused her to withdraw from various tournaments and subsequently led to various problems. She suffered a back injury during the Australian Open in 2003 and subsequently suffered tendinopathy. At that time, when she was more famous, her ranking was falling due to these circumstances, and since that year she has no longer participated in the WTA Tour.

This has since been the end of Kournikova's career. Her last competitive match was against Martina Hingis at Wimbledon in 2010, but the rest of her matches were for charity and she has decided to step away from the limelight over the last few years to focus on her private life.

She gave birth to her third daughter on January 30, 2023. She appears alongside Enrique Iglesias in a post on Instagram. They both live in the United States. Looks like we won't see her play again.