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Anna Kournikova - The Internet Slash Tennis Star
 
Anna Kournikova was born in Moscow, Soviet Union, on 7 June 1981. Her father is a former Greco-Roman wrestling champion with a PhD. Her mother was a 400-meter runner. And her younger brother is a youth golf world champion!
 
Kournikova received her first tennis racquet as a New Year gift  at the age of 5 and started taking tennis lessons from age six...
 
In 1989, at the age of eight, she began appearing in tournaments and attracting increased attention from tennis scouts across the world. At age ten she signed a management agreement and went to Bradenton, Florida, to train at the famous tennis academy of Nick Bollettieri.
 
The prodigy continued to impress and astonish audiences and specialists alike. At only 14, she won the European Championships and the Italian Open Junior tournament, and became the youngest player to win the junior division of the Junior Orange Bowl tennis tournament. In 1995, she was crowned the ITF Junior World Champion U-18 and Junior European Champion U-18! And in 1998, she managed to get into the WTA's top 20 rankings.
 
In 2003, Anna Kournikova collected another grand slam match victory at the Australian Open, but paid dearly for the success - she sustained back injuries that would haunt her for the next two years, and ultimately force her to retire.
 
Still, she continued to play exhibition and charity matches, including one for the Elton John AIDS Foundation and Atlanta AIDS Partnership Fund, gathering $400,000!
 
Despite incredible public attention to her person (she remained the most searched athlete on the Internet through the 2000s; a computer virus was named after her; Men's Health put her at No. 29 in the "100 Hottest Women of All Time";  ESPN ranked her 18th in its "25 Biggest Sports Flops of the Past 25 Years"; and a poker card combination was named after her because "it looks great but never wins"), her personal life is always a guarded secret...
 
It is known that she was in a relationship with the Russian NHL player Pavel Bure for several years, and later allegedly married the pop star Enrique Iglesias (though her representatives deny this), soon splitting - despite investing $20 million into a common house on a private island off the coast of Miami.
 
In 2010 she became an American citizen.
 
Sources:
"Players – Info – Anna Kournikova". Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. 
 "About Anna Kournikova". Sportsmates. 12 May 2008
"Official Biography of Anna Kournikova". Kournikova.com

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