Injury forced Anna Kournikova’s tennis career to end at the age of 22, but she still built a $50 million empire.

A young girl with exceptional talent began dominating tennis courts and fans’ hearts while the sport was still viewed as being dominated by men.

Anna Kournikova, who was born on June 7, 1981, in Moscow, fell in love with tennis when she was a little child. She first felt a tennis racquet in her hand when she was about five years old, and she knew that was it.

As the years passed, news of this blonde genius who won every single junior event available spread throughout the entire world. Not only that, but Anna also attracted the attention of other sports businesses that wanted to work with her and share in her success.

“I played well and I enjoyed the sport so my parents challenged me some more,” Anna wrote in the book Chicken Soup for the Soul: Extraordinary Teens: Personal Stories and Advice from Today’s Most Inspiring Youth. A professional tennis club where many of the present Russian tennis players were taught is where I started taking lessons two years later.

Tennis swiftly grew to be my life, my outlet, my social network, and my community. My coach was like a second mother to me,” she said.

“Tennis and training were a constant in my life. Even though I was still a young child, I somehow understood that I didn’t have many other options. Life in Russia at the time was difficult since there weren’t as many chances as there are today in the United States.

The most well-known tennis coaches on the opposite side of the Atlantic Ocean heard about Anna’s skill. One of the first tennis management companies to contact Anna’s family and offer them a move to their Lord Tennis Academy was IMG Tennis. When Anna was 10 years old, IMG helped her become a billionaire by the time she was 13.

Anna, it turned out, was more than just a skilled tennis player. She was a stunning young woman whose looks astounded everyone, and many thought that this was a big bonus.
On the No Challenges Remaining podcast, New York Times tennis writer Ben Rothenburg said, “Even before her results started, even when she was a junior, people talked about her at IMG – which is creepy and gross, but it still happens to this day; ‘Oh my God, you should see this 12-year-old, she’s beautiful’.”

She became what she was perceived to be by the public.

At just 14 years old, Anna relocated to Florida and began training at the renowned Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy.


Tennis is one of those games where intensive training begins at a relatively young age, she said. “For a lot of sports, most people don’t start playing professionally at fourteen,” she said.

In fact, from what I recall, there was never even a choice as to whether to go pro. I had been trained for this opportunity for so many years that I never even questioned it. I was enthusiastic and determined to succeed on the WTA tour. I was very eager to go to the next level because I had already achieved all of my goals on the Junior Circuit.

Anna Kournikova suddenly rose to fame as a beloved global phenomenon. The number of sponsors ready to collaborate with her was growing, and funding continued to flow in. She achieved her goal.

At the age of 18, Anna was viewed as a “sex symbol” and appeared on the covers of numerous illustrious publications.
Her career grew immensely. In 1999 and 2002, she and Martina Hingis won the Wimbledon doubles title, and from a business perspective, things couldn’t have been better. Fans searching for photos of Anna Kournikova at the height of her success made her name one of the most popular search terms on Google Search.

However, Anna was eventually forced to give up tennis in 2003 at the young age of 22 due to injuries.

She reportedly said, “You know, the fame and everything, I guess most of it was created by you guys, by the media a lot of times, most of the time the yellow press,” the night she announced her retirement, according to AU Sports.

“I never made an effort to pay attention. Naturally, it was a little difficult to deal with that when you’re 16, 17, and reading some kind of c**p about yourself. It was mostly made up.

Anna Kournikova’s tennis career came to an end, but she continued to get media attention. She started modeling and made several commercial appearances. The two began dating after she made an appearance in the Spanish artist Enrique Iglesias’ music video for Escape.

At the time, he declared, “I’ve never met her before, but I’m a great fan. Many males want to meet her, I’m sure of it. One of them is me. She’s a fantastic tennis player, beautiful, and talented, so I know she’ll do well in the video.

Twins Lucy and Nicholas were born in 2017 along with a daughter named Mary in 2020. Anna and Enrique have been together since 2001.

“I adore being a mother, and whether I had biological kids or were adopted, I was determined to have kids. In 2019, Anna proclaimed to Tennis World USA, “I adore taking care of people.

“Marriage isn’t important to me,” she continued. “I think that people should be absolutely respectful of one another and should be able to trust one another. We’ve been friends for a long time. I am the feminine counterpart to him, and he is the male.”

At age 40, Anna Kournikova still exudes beauty. She is $50 million in wealth.
The Biggest Loser season 12 had Anna as a trainer, but she did not return for season 13. Kournikova is a Global Ambassador for Population Services International’s “Five & Alive” campaign, which targets health challenges affecting children under the age of five and their families, in addition to her tennis and television work.

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