(February 28, 2002) Today, Anna Kournikova defeated 51st-ranked Janette Husarova 6-3, 6-4 in a quarterfinal of the Abierto Mexicano Pegaso in Acapulco, Mexico (english version). Anna said: "That was the toughest match so far... especially because of the heat, but I would have been prepared to play for three sets." In the 2nd round Anna defeated 67th-ranked Tathiana Garbin 6-1, 6-2. Anna said: "That was almost a perfect match for me. But I must also keep working hard to reach my best tennis..." In the 1st round, Anna defeated #66 Mariana Di'az Oliva 6-4, 7-5. In the semifinals, Anna will play #79 Katarina Srebotnik, who upset fourth seed (#31) Cristina Torrens-Valero today 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-4 (schedule live scoring). Anna could go far in this tournament, she defeated top seed (#14) Elena Dementieva in Tokyo about 3 weeks ago, 7-6(4), 7-6(5). Dementieva's semifinal opponent is #61 Paola Suarez, who upset 3rd seed (#17) Amanda Coetzer today, 6-3, 6-4.
(Mar. 1) Katarina Srebotnik defeated Anna Kournikova today 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 in a semifinal of the Abierto Mexicano Pegaso in Acapulco, Mexico (english version), ending hopes that Anna might get her 1st WTA tour victory (Anna has won ITF events, but not WTA). (schedule live scoring). Anna said: "I had a sharp shooting pain [in the neck] and I couldn't move... It was a pretty stupid little thing, and it cost me the match, probably. I'm disappointed, obviously, and frustrated I couldn't give it my 100 percent". Although this was a disappointment for Anna, her ranking will rise again next Monday due to her victories in previous rounds.
(Mar. 6) #56 Lilia Osterloh defeated Anna Kournikova today 6-1, 6-4 in the 1st round of the Pacific Life Open at Indian Wells, CA (singles draw, .pdf). Down a break in the 2nd set, Anna broke back at to make it 4-5, but Osterloh broke Anna's serve again for the match. Anna, who had 11 double faults and 44 unforced errors, said "My whole game was struggling. I wasn't in the match. In general, nothing went my way today." This is a setback for Anna, currently ranked 67th, as she works to regain a more appropriate higher place in the rankings. In doubles, Anna and her usual doubles partner Martina Hingis are seeded 4th, and will play a tough 1st round match vs. Justine Henin and Meghann Shaughnessy, not on Thursday, so probably on Friday. (doubles draw, .pdf) (schedule, .pdf). This is a 2-week tournament.
(Mar. 8) Anna Kournikova and Martina Hingis have withdrawn from the doubles at the Pacific Life Open at Indian Wells, CA, because Martina found she was suffering from tendonitis in her right wrist during practice (doubles draw, .pdf) (schedule, .pdf).
(Mar. 15) Asked yesterday if she thought if Anna Kournikova could get back into the top 10 in the rankings, Martina Hingis said: "Well, she definitely has the game. She has the strokes. You know, sometimes she rushes a little bit too much. I mean, she was able to beat top-10 players in the past. She beat me once. She beat Lindsay [Davenport]. She beat other ones. She made the finals of Key Biscayne and Hilton Head. She's had the game. Semis Wimbledon, right [1997 vs. Hingis]. She's still young, too. She's even younger than me." Martina is playing in the final of the Pacific Life Open at Indian Wells, CA, on Saturday.
(Mar. 22) #61 Eleni Danilidou defeated Anna Kournikova 7-5, 6-3 yesterday in the 1st round of the NASDAQ-100 Open in Miami, Florida (match stats). Anna said: "I think that the reason for this loss is that I don't have enough matches... I was already playing better but I guess it's the match practice that I need." (interview draw).
(Mar. 25) Anna Kournikova and Martina Hingis defeated Alexandra Stevenson and Marissa Irvin 7-5, 6-2 yesterday in the 1st round of doubles at the NASDAQ-100 Open in Miami, Florida (match stats).
(Mar. 26) Anna Kournikova and Martina Hingis defeated Silvia Farina Elia and Barbara Schett 6-3, 6-3 yesterday in the 2nd round of doubles at the NASDAQ-100 Open in Miami, Florida (match stats).
(Mar. 29) Anna Kournikova and Martina Hingis withdrew from the doubles at the NASDAQ-100 Open in Miami, Florida because Martina was suffering from a strained tendon running along the sole of her right foot. The injury is not serious. Anna will now take a week off (her first break this year), and then play at the Bausch & Lomb Championships at Amelia Island, Florida from April 8-14.
(Apr. 4) Exaggerated stories have been printed stating that adidas is threatening Anna Kournikova with a cut in her endorsement contract for not winning enough. But the quote was from last year, and taken out of context to manufacture a story. An adidas spokesman said: "The article that appeared in a couple of this morning's papers claiming Anna Kournikova has been warned to play better by adidas is simply not true. Anna Kournikova is a top symbol and important partner for adidas." Anna has reached 3 semifinals this year, and won the Australian Open doubles with Martina Hingis. She also defeated Jennifer Capriati in an exhibition last December.
(Apr. 9) Anna Kournikova lost to #52 Paola Suarez 4-6, 1-6 today in the 1st round of the Bausch & Lomb Championships at Amelia Island, Florida (match stats draw). Anna, who struggled through 7 double faults and 36 unforced errors, said: "The whole second set was pretty much about me being disappointed about the first set." Anna is not playing doubles in this tournament. Next week she will play in the Family Circle Cup at Charleston, SC.
(Apr. 16) 37th-ranked Conchita Martinez defeated Anna Kournikova today 7-6(5), 6-1 in the 1st round of the Family Circle Cup at Charleston, SC (schedule draw live set scores results). Since making the semifinals of the Mexican Open, Anna has now suffered 1st-round losses in 4 straight tournaments. "I can't get any more disappointed," Anna said, but "today was the best match that I played in the last four tournaments and especially against Conchita. She's an experienced player on clay. So I'm definitely happy with the progress I've made." Anna made it to the final of this major tournament in 1999, losing to Martina Hingis 4-6, 3-6. With her usual partner Hingis currently on vacation, Anna is not playing doubles.
(Apr. 22) The WTA has no tournament this week, as the 1st round of the ITF Fed Cup is taking place. Anna Kournikova is not playing for Russia in the Cup this year, so she has the week off. Anna is next scheduled to play in next week's Betty Barclay Cup (English version) in Hamburg, Germany, April 29th - May 5th. Martina Hingis is also scheduled to appear, so they will likely play doubles together there.
(Apr. 25) Anna Kournikova has withdrawn from next week's Betty Barclay Cup (English version) in Hamburg, Germany, and instead will play in the Bol Ladies Open in Croatia. Anna also withdrew from the following week's German Open, and will play in the Warsaw J&S Cup instead. In a letter to German Open organizers, Anna, who has been struggling with her game since her stress fracture last year, said: "I'm very sorry for the Berlin fans because I feel very comfortable there, but after the long injury pause I don't believe I can compete in such an important tournament." Anna has expressed concern about not playing enough matches, and will stand a better chance of playing more at these smaller tournaments. Bol is not a pushover, however, as other players will include Iva Majoli, Elena Dementieva, and Sandrine Testud.
(Apr. 28) Anna Kournikova will play another Russian, #120 Julia Vakulenko, in the 1st round of the Bol Ladies Open in Croatia on Tuesday. This match is scheduled to begin on Centre Court after 3PM local time (= 6AM PDT or 9AM EDT). If she wins, she will face either #52 Tina Pisnik or qualifier Zuzana Hejdova in the 2nd round (draw schedule). On her way to Croatia, Anna stopped in Paris on April 25th, where she and Martina Hingis modeled a new line of jewelry for Omega, with Cindy Crawford and others (see photo below).
(Apr. 30) After a slow start, Anna Kournikova defeated #120 Julia Vakulenko 6(3)-7, 6-2, 6-2 in the 1st round of the Bol Ladies Open in Croatia today, ending her streak of 4 losses since her semifinal appearance in the Mexican Open. Anna will face #52 Tina Pisnik in the 2nd round on Thursday. This match will be the 3rd of the day on Centre Court, following a match that will start at 2PM local or later (5AM PDT or 8AM EDT) (draw-results schedule). An unfortunate distraction for Anna is the need to file a lawsuit against Penthouse magazine, which has published fake photos of her in order to increase sales.
(May 2) #52 Tina Pisnik defeated Anna Kournikova today 6(1)-7, 6-3, 6-3 in the 2nd round of the Bol Ladies Open in Croatia (draw and results). This is a very disappointing loss for Anna, who went to Bol instead of Hamburg this week in hope of playing more matches to get her game back on track. Anna had 46 unforced errors in the match (to Pisnik's 53), but apart from 8 double-faults was the victor statistically, winning 109 points to Pisnik's 86 (stats). Anna is reportedly taking advice from a number of coaches, including Mario Tudor, whom she is practicing with in Bol.
(May 7) 162nd ranked qualifier Svetlana Kuznetsova defeated Anna Kournikova 4-6, 6-4, 5-2 (retired) today in the 1st round of the J&S Cup in Warsaw, Poland (draw results). Anna took a break after winning the first set due to problems with her left leg. In the 2nd set, while trailing 2-4, doctors examined her right shoulder. The AP reports it was not immediately clear which injury forced her out. Reuters says she retired due to dehydration and leg cramps. Anna did not attend the post-match press conference, so the situation remains unclear. In non-tennis news concerning Anna, Judith E. Soltesz-Benetton, 28, who married Rocco Benetton, (son of Benetton company head Luciano Benetton), in northern Italy in September, has stated that the topless photos in Penthouse magazine purportedly of Anna Kournikova are actually of her. Soltesz-Benetton, not considered a "celebrity", has filed a $10-million privacy suit against the magazine, charging it published the photos of her sunbathing topless without permission. U.S. District Court Judge Denny Chin yesterday ordered Penthouse to stop distributing its June issue and putting the photos on its Web site. Today Anna also filed a lawsuit against General Media Communications Inc., owner and operator of Penthouse. Penthouse has issued an apology for the "mistake".
(May 10) Anna Kournikova is expected to play in next week's Italian Open (Tennis Masters Series), although there has been no news concerning her injuries in Warsaw. Martina Hingis, Monica Seles and Amanda Coetzer, also fighting injury and illness, have all withdrawn from the tournament.
(May 13) Anna Kournikova defeated #75 Marta Marrero 6-3, 6-3 today in the 1st round of the Italian Open (Tennis Masters Series) in Rome. Anna was down 3-1 in the first set before winning 5 games in a row to take the set. Anna said: "The match was much more difficult than the score suggested. I was told being injured for eight or nine months means a similar time span to get back into my best shape. I'm not in a hurry and I'll continue to work hard." Tuesday, Anna will play #1 Venus Williams in the 2nd round (the 3rd time this year Anna has been placed in this position).
(May 14) Anna Kournikova defeated #62 Lilia Osterloh 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 today in the 2nd round of the Italian Open (Tennis Masters Series) in Rome. Anna had been scheduled to play #1 Venus Williams, but she withdrew just before the match was to begin. Anna said: "I found out five minutes before the match... It's a pity. It's a little disappointing to find out just a few minutes before the match for the fans and everybody." Osterloh had defeated Anna earlier this year in the 1st round at Indian Wells 6-1, 6-4. On Thursday, Anna will play #78 Virginia Ruano Pascual in the 3rd round. This will be the 2nd match on Court Central, with the 1st match starting at 1PM local time (4AM PDT or 7AM EDT). Unfortunately, there appears to be no "official" website for the tournament, but you can get the draw and scores and schedule information from the WTAtour.com site.
-- Anna is playing doubles with Els Callens of Belgium as her partner. They are seeded 3rd (Anna is ranked 13th in doubles) and received a 1st round bye. They will play the Japanese pair Ai Sugiyama and Riki Fujiwara on Thursday, not before 5PM local (8AM PDT or 11AM EDT).
-- Anna has been talking to a number of coaches to help her with her comeback, including Harold Solomon, known for helping players like Jennifer Capriati recover from difficulties. Anna said: "Right now it's working out great, so we'll see how it goes... We're just talking a lot at the moment and that's really important just to get me in the right direction."
(May 16) #78 Virginia Ruano Pascual defeated Anna Kournikova today 6-3, 6-2 in the 3rd round of the Italian Open (Tennis Masters Series) in Rome. Anna struggled with a strained right thigh muscle, and received treatment from WTA doctor Philippa Stewart at 2-3 down in the 2nd set. Later Anna withdrew from her scheduled doubles match (partnered with Els Callens) because of her injury. Commenting on her injury and also on Martina Hingis's joint inflammation problem, Anna said: "Right now I have a groin problem but I know it's going to go away in a week or so many days, so it's not like a bone or a joint or something major. That kind of thing is totally different... I guess in Martina's case we don't know what exactly the problem is yet and how serious. So we keep our fingers crossed to see the results."
(May 21) #63 Petra Mandula defeated Anna Kournikova today 7-6(5), 6-2 in the 1st round of the Internationaux de Strasbourg (English) Strasbourg, France (draw WTAtour.com schedule and results page). Anna's 2 wins last week raised her ranking to 55 yesterday, the highest she has reached this year as she recovers from missing about half of last season with a stress fracture. Her position in the draw for next week's French Open at Roland Garros will be based on that ranking.
(May 28) 54th ranked Anna Kournikova will play 192nd-ranked Australian Christine Wheeler in the 1st round of the French Open at Roland Garros Wednesday. This match will be on Court 2 at 11:00 AM local time (2:00 AM PDT or 5:00 AM EDT). Anna was to play Tuesday, but the tournament has been plagued by rain delays in the early going. If Anna wins, she will play either #17 Iroda Tulyaganova or #77 Eva Dyrberg in the 2nd round. 5th-seed Justine Henin was eliminated in the 1st-round today, by Hungarian qualifier Aniko Kapros.
(May 29) 192nd-ranked Australian Christine Wheeler defeated Anna Kournikova today 6-4, 6-3 in the 1st round of the French Open at Roland Garros. Anna broke Wheeler's serve 5 times, but Wheeler broke Anna 7 times in the 2 sets (statistics) (BBC: story - game-by-game - photos).
(June 6) Anna Kournikova turns 21 tomorrow, Friday, June 7. She will take next week "off", practicing in preparation for playing in the Eastbourne "Wimbledon warmup" grass court tournament, which begins on June 17.
Anna said she was struggling with both her backhand and her forehand, but "I had deuces and ads all the time, in the first set especially. Then the second set, beginning of the second set, you know, I was up 1-Love, ad, 2-1, ad, 3-2, ad. You know, I had chances all the time. It's just a matter of me using those chances and just playing confident tennis again" (post-match interview - real video 56Kb - 256Kb).
Anna also said: "I think I'm just going to practice until Eastbourne. I think that's what I need to do. I need to work hard and spend lots of hours, just like I've been doing. You know, like I said, it's not like I played terrible today. It wasn't very bad at all. I just have to get back that confidence of winning matches... I know that if I work hard, I can get my tennis to the level where I want it to be and where I think it should be. Obviously, I have a lot of work to do. You know, there's no question of that. That's what I'm going to do. If that's what I have to do, that's exactly what I'm going to do."
5th-seed Justine Henin was also eliminated in the 1st-round yesterday, by Hungarian qualifier Aniko Kapros.
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