tennis phenomenon is born
talent for tennis was first discovered when she played at a
weekly children's sports program, at the age of 5. She started
to play and practice more often, in places such as the Tennis
Club Sokliki Park and in the Spartak Club, despite the fact
that her family was not financially well off.
still in Moscow, Anna's first tennis coach was Larissa Preobraschenskaja,
from 1985 until 1989. The budding tennis player trained and
practiced while she was going to school.
1992, an 11-year-old Anna moved to Florida with her mother,
to attend Nick Bolletieri´s Tennis Academy in Bradenton. The
tennis facilities made it easier for Anna, who in Moscow had
to move around from gyms, the tennis courts and school.
reached the Orange Bowl finals at age 13, and had she won, she
would have been the youngest player to win this tournament --
a feat Tiger Woods is most familiar with.
makes a racquet
did, however, win the Orange Bowl 18s in 1995, as well as the
European Championships 18s, the Italian Open juniors. She also
came out as a Wimbledon junior semifinalist and French Open
juniors quarterfinalist, both in 1995. It was also in 1995 that
Anna became a professional tennis player.
the time she was 14, she won the Fed Cup competition, becoming
the youngest player to play in the competition and win. Since
then, some of Anna's career highlights include:
- The first Russian female to be seeded at the US open since
- Reached the Top 10.
- Her victory over Martina Hingis made her the ninth-youngest
player since 1968 to defeat a world No. 1 player.
- Defeated several top 10 players consecutively at the Lipton
- Won her first Grand Slam title at the 1999 Australian Open,
winning the doubles title.
- Reached her second career final at 1999 Hilton Head.
- Defeated world No. 2 Lindsey Davenport in Amelia Island.
was last seen competing at this year's US Open, with a seeding
of 12 and a ranking of 14. Her statistics for 2000 are: 35-19
record, 5 semi-final appearances in 19 tournaments.
endorsed by Adidas, Yonex, Berlei (the famous sports bra), Omega
(also the choice of Cindy Crawford and Pierce Brosnan), and
Lycos (who has named Anna the most popular athlete on the Internet,
moving Michael Jordan to the number 2 spot), Anna has certainly
come a long way from the days when her parents could hardly
afford to buy her a tennis racket.
earnings for 1999 stood at $11 million for endorsements alone,
and they have surely increased by now, making her the highest-paid
female tennis player.
a cover girl, Anna was named one of People magazine's
50 Most Beautiful People in the World in 1998, and graced the
cover of Sports Illustrated's June 2000 edition.
most of the talk surrounding Anna has to do with her on-again,
off-again romances with hockey players Pavel Bure and Sergei
Fedorov (who she is allegedly married to), the provocative 20-year-old
still claims that her number one dedication in life remains
the sport that made her famous: tennis. Or was it Anna that
made tennis famous?