Anna Kournikova SuccessTournaments that didn't include Anna Kournikova had 30% less attendance. Her matches always sold out and it's safe to say that fans weren't crowding the courts in order to watch Anna Kournikova pummel her opponent.
Her fame has less to do with her accomplishments , attitude and antics. Still, we'll give her some credit as a tennis player. Her greatest feats in the game include winning the European Championships and Italian Open juniors at age 14, and becoming the youngest tennis player to win a Fed Cup match. By the end of 1995, Anna Kournikova was crowned ITF Junior World Champion. In 1996, Anna Kournikova went pro and the tennis world would never be the same. She reached the fourth round in that year's U.S. Open and the semifinals at 1997's Wimbledon.
After staying in the top 10 singles rankings for several years and managing to defeat four consecutive top 10 players in a single tournament, she won a Grand Slam doubles title with Martina Hingis at the 1999 Australian Open.
Ever since 2003's Australian Open, Anna Kournikova has been plagued with a back injury that forced her to pull out of that year's Wimbledon tournament. Unfortunately, Anna Kournikova has suffered injuries since 2000 -- but fortunately, she has still managed to remain in the spotlight, just where we like her.
Not only is she the most photographed woman in the sports world, she's also one of the richest, thanks to several million-dollar endorsements. In 2002, it was reported that Anna Kournikova made $10 million a year. Since a contract with Adidas depended on victories and high rankings, she didn't reach her market potential, but she is raking in $3 million with the athletic wear manufacturer. And she's laughing all the way to the bank with sponsors that include Omega watches, Berlei lingerie, Lycos, and sports equipment company Yonex.
In addition to ads, billboards and magazine covers, Anna Kournikova has also graced the tabloids, thanks to relationships with hockey players Pavel Bure and Sergei Fedorov (who she was rumored to have married), and her on-again, off-again romance with pop star Enrique Iglesias.
As for media appearances, Anna was seen everywhere, from 2001's Me, Myself & Irene and Enrique's "Escape" video in 2002, to a spread in Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issues in 2004 and 2005. Not only does she remain one of the top searches on the internet, someone even named a widespread virus in her honor in 2001, which wreaked havoc on the web.