Anna Kournikova became one of the best players in the world of tennis during her day, reaching as high as No. 8 in the world rankings.
Despite that, the Russian star never won a singles title. Because of injuries, Anna was forced to give up her career at age 22. Even so, sponsorship and endorsement deals continued to flood in, and she soon became one of the most ‘Googled’ people globally.
After her career ended, Kournikova became a big celebrity through several television productions, modeling, and other projects. Her marriage to Enrique Iglesias also whet the appetite of entertainment newspapers – these days, the couple live a somewhat quieter life with their children.
So what does Anna Kournikova do today? And what does the 40-year-old look like? This is all you need to know about her!
Many young people dream about becoming celebrities and achieving fame in a chosen field. With that in mind, the most important things behind becoming successful, be it an entertainment star in Hollywood, the brightest shining singer in opera, or the best dancer and performer on Broadway, are hard work, believing in yourself, and dedication.
That also goes for the world of sports, where young, promising athletes fight tooth and nail to make it.
Of course, though the road to fame is a notoriously tough one, it’s important to remember that the higher you rise, the longer you have to fall.
For Anna Kournikova – once one of the highly-touted young tennis players in the world – that was the case. Experts thought she was the next big star in the sport, ready to climb its lofty heights. However, her career ended almost before it had started, despite the fact she turned pro at a very early age.
Anna entered the sport at a time when it was male-dominated, and fans, sponsors, and even journalists wanted a piece of her. This meant that in some ways she became a product instead of a person, and her looks took center stage in place of her obvious talent.
The Russian’s career may not have ended when and where she wanted to, but she still managed to create an empire and, at the same time, a beautiful family.
Anna Kournikova was born in Moscow on June 7, 1981. At the age of five, she started playing tennis with some friends and, soon after, became a regular at a tennis club in Moscow.
“I played well and I enjoyed the sport so my parents challenged me some more. Two years later, I began taking lessons at a professional tennis club where a lot of the current Russian tennis players were trained,” Kournikova wrote in the book Chicken Soup for the Soul: Extraordinary Teens: Personal Stories and Advice from Today’s Most Inspiring Youth.
“Sure enough, tennis quickly became my life, my outlet, my circle of friends and my community. My coach was basically my second mother,” she continued.
“Everything in my life was about tennis and training. Somehow I knew, even though I was just a kid, that I didn’t really have many other options. At the time, life in Russia was tough – there weren’t that many opportunities there like there are in the Untied States. “
Kournikova was a colossal talent, and plenty of people saw that. Not only did coaches and her parents see her potential, but also agents and talented coaches on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.
As explained in the book An Athlete’s Guide to Agents, author Robert H. Ruxin writes how agents wanted a piece of Anna Kournikova even before she was a teenager. IMG Tennis, a global tennis management company, was quick to set its sights on Anna and decided to act.
Even though she enjoyed playing tennis, a part of Kournikova was happy about her retirement.
“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,” Kournikova said on the evening she announced her retirement.
Anna Kournikova – family, husband, children, net worth
“[I] never tried to pay attention. I mean, obviously, it was a little hard times dealing with it being 16, 17 years old, reading some kind of c**p about yourself, you know. Most of it was made up.”
We can all agree that Anna’s career ended prematurely, but that didn’t stop her from continuing to be successful. In fact, the Russian created herself an empire worth more than $50 million – today, she’s happily married and has three children.
“I think it was cool,” Kournikova said.
“It was a lot of hard work. It was a lot of satisfaction for my family and me, it was also fun. I got to drink soda and chew gum and travel around the world. At nine years old, I was living in America and eating fruit 12 months a year. I didn’t have that back home. I’d been to most countries by 14.”
So what did she do after her on-court career ended? Kournikova worked as a model for a short while, while also continuing to appear in many commercials. She even had a minor role in the film Me, Myself and Irene, which starred Jim Carey.
In late 2001, Anna Kournikova appeared in the music video Escape, by Spanish singer Enrique Iglesias. Enrique was a very famous singer in his birth country Spain – but he was also quite popular abroad. For example, the monster hit “Bailamos” reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100.
In the music video for Escape, there was obvious chemistry between Enrique and Anna, and they were involved in some spicy scenes, kissing each other.
“I’ve never met her before, but I’m a big fan,” the singer said at the time. “I’m sure a lot of guys want to meet her. I’m one of them. She’s beautiful, talented, great tennis player, you know, and I’m sure she’s going to be great in the video.”
It turned out that fate had more in store for Anna and Enrique than simply working together.
Not long after their paths crossed, the couple engaged in a romantic relationship. The couple then moved to Miami but tried their best to avoid the media attention and the paparazzi.
They welcomed twins Lucy and Nicholas in 2017, and three years later daughter Mary was born.
“I love being a mum, I absolutely wanted to have children, whether I had my own or adopted. I love taking care of people,” Anna said in 2019.
This is Anna Kournikova at 40
“Marriage isn’t important to me,” she added. “I believe in being open and trusting each other, and respecting each other completely. We’ve been together for years. He’s the male version of me, and I’m the female version of him.”
Kournikova returned to television as a personal trainer in season 12 of NBC’s The Biggest Loser, and as mentioned, she’s built up an empire worth $50 million over the years. Needless to say, at 40 years old she still looks fantastic!
What do you think about athletes earning almost more money from commercials and endorsements than from the actual sport they play? Please give us your opinion in the comment section.
Meanwhile, share this article if you also remember Anna Kournikova!