Does anyone remember Anna Kournikova? Of course you do. How could you forget? However, if you're under the age of 30, you might have trouble remembering her. Well, have no fear; we're here to refresh your memory. You may be wondering why we would want to do that, but once you see the photos, you'll quickly realize why. Anna Kournikova just happens to be the hottest female tennis player of all time.
There have been many beautiful female tennis players over the years. Certain players like Argentinian beauty Gabriella Sabatini and fellow-Russian Maria Sharapova come to mind. But nobody comes even close to the woman known as the hottest player ever to play the sport.
Anna was born on June 7, 1981, and at the tender age of five years old, her dad put her first tennis racket in her hand. She would train a couple of times a week because her parents wanted her to be active, but once they realized that she actually had potential, they sent her to a professional academy at the age of seven.
After moving to Florida, she made her debut in professional tennis at the age of 14 in the Fed Cup for Russia," the youngest player ever to participate and win". In 1995, she turned pro, and then the following year, she made her first Grand Slam appearance at the 1996 US Open, losing to eventual winner Steffi Graf in the fourth round. She was only 15 years old at the time, but that's when people took notice of how beautiful she was, and the legend of Anna Kournikova was born.
Unfortunately, her professional tennis career was cut short in 2003 at the ripe age of 21 due to chronic lower back issues and a herniated disk, but that had no effect on her popularity as "she continued to be the most searched athlete on the Internet through 2008." She's still very much in the public eye as she continues her modeling career, along with television appearances and many other ventures.
So let's have a look at 15 photos of the woman who is known as the hottest female tennis player to ever play the game and who is also one of the world's top models to this day.
You know you've made it big when you make the cover of Sports Illustrated. Usually, you see models on the cover, instead of athletes, but Anna is a rare case of both, so of course it's only fitting that she became the cover girl.
2004 was the year Anna graced the cover of this extremely popular Sports magazine. In fact, Anna has been on the cover of just about every single popular magazine you can think of, including many that you will find on this list. She's so popular that she's even been on the cover of every woman's magazine, as well.
When it comes to the United States, though, being on the cover of Sports Illustrated means that you're either at the top of the industry, or well on your way. For Anna, it was just another routine shoot.
Even though Anna stopped playing professionally in 2003, she continues to play in many exhibition matches and charity events. Tennis will always be her first love, and she's often stated that if she was healthy enough, she would return to competitive tennis again. Today, she's certainly past her tennis prime, but she still often jumps at the chance of playing, especially if it's for a good cause.
Since her retirement, she's been involved in countless charitable events, usually involving other big-name celebrities like Elton John, John McEnroe, Serena Williams, and many others. The causes range from the Indian Ocean Tsunami Relief Fund, to children's hospitals, to the AIDS Foundation. She even does races and triathlons for charity. She's still active, fit, and super hot.
Berlei is an Australian company that specializes in women's undergarments. They have various women's apparel, including women's sports bras, and who better to show-off and market their products than Anna Kournikova.
If you go to their website, they have tons of pictures of Anna displaying their products, from sportswear to casual women's clothing. There are so many hot pictures of Anna, we don't know which one to choose. You could literally browse for hours and not realize how much time has gone by -- kind of like being in a casino at the craps table, not knowing when to call it quits. We're glad Anna hasn't called it quits, though. We could do this all day.
Although Anna never won a singles WTA title, she came very close in the 1997 edition of Wimbledon, known as the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world. According to Wikipedia, " Kournikova became only the second woman in the open era to reach the semifinals in her Wimbledon debut. She still holds the record for being the youngest Wimbledon semi-finalist in history (15 years of age)." She lost to eventual champion Martina Hingis who turned out to be her doubles partner a few years later.
Results don't really seem to matter if you're that gorgeous, at least for us. Even at such a young age, modeling scouts, big companies, and basically the entire planet knew Anna was something special. She was already turning heads at 15 years old, and it wasn't just for her budding tennis game.
Obviously, we're trying to get in as many hot modeling photos of Anna as possible. Another super sexy shoot she did was for the popular women's magazine, blog, and website known as Jezebel. It doesn't really matter if you've heard of it or not; all that matters is how stunning Kournikova looks in the various pictures of herself.
It really makes it difficult for us to pick just one, but that's the best we can do here. We highly recommend you check out her other photos, not just for Jezebel, but for any publication and website on the list. It will be time well spent. It's hard to imagine if you've never heard of Anna Kournikova because she is everywhere.
Celebrity Leather Fashions is known for shooting photos of sexy women, usually in leather. Their motto is "what famous sexy leather girls are wearing," and in 2013, our very own Anna did a photoshoot with them where she looks absolutely smoking hot.
Usually, we see photos of Kournikova in swimsuits, traditional modeling attire (whatever you want to call it), and sportswear, like when she's playing tennis. But this time, we see Anna in a whole different light.
In the shoot, we see the tennis star dressed in a mix of leather and cowboy, or cowgirl, attire. The results are mouth-watering. Whoever decided to hire Anna and dress her up like she was on a ranch in the middle of Kansas, we applaud you. The photos may have turned out even better than we could've imagined. Well done, Leather Fashions.
As we mentioned, Anna never actually won a Grand Slam singles title, or even any WTA title for that matter, but according to Wikipedia, "at the 1998 French Open, Kournikova had her best result at this tournament, making it to the fourth round before losing to Jana Novotná. She also reached her first Grand Slam doubles semi-finals, losing with Neiland to Lindsay Davenport and Natasha Zvereva."
Kournikova still managed to attract the biggest crowds, which is no surprise, especially in the city known for fashion and modeling. Results were always secondary to the general public, who just wanted a glimpse of the world-renowned star. Crowds loved her and followed her wherever she went. Win or lose, there was always a sellout crowd on hand to watch her play live.
If you think Anna's modeling and tennis photos are scorching hot, then you'll be blown away by the swimsuit photos. Kournikova has done endless photo shoots, and many of them were shot with her in a bikini, showing off her sexy 5'8 frame and eye-popping figure.
There are also plenty of photos of her on vacation, usually at her favorite beach spot, or wandering around her adopted hometown of Miami, where she still lives today. According to her bio on IMDb, she was even quoted saying, "I'm like a menu at an expensive restaurant; you can look at me, but you can't afford me." So much for trying to pick her up with a "can I buy you a drink" line. A bottle of the most expensive champagne probably wouldn't cut it either, but at least you'd get to look at her in person. Good enough.
On to the United States, and just like everywhere else, Anna had developed a cult following. The paparazzi would follow her every move in the Big Apple. Just like in Paris, there was no escaping the spotlight in the big city, and that's where Anna thrived -- more so than on the tennis court. But who cares?
"At the 1998 US Open, Kournikova reached the fourth round before losing to Arantxa Sánchez Vicario. Her strong year qualified her for the year-end 1998 WTA Tour Championships, but she lost to Monica Seles in the first round. However, with Seles, she won her first WTA doubles title, in Tokyo, beating Mary Joe Fernández and Arantxa Sánchez Vicario in the final," according to Wikipedia.
In October of 2010, Kournikova made her reality television debut on the hit television show "The Biggest Loser", where she helped the contestants lose weight by introducing them to a tennis challenge. In May 2011, she then joined The Biggest Loser as a regular celebrity trainer for season 12. However, she did not return for season 13, with many stating that her personality wasn't a good fit for the show.
Obviously, it's not easy to be a first-time host, especially with no experience hosting a television reality show. Can you imagine having Anna as a personal trainer, though? Having her there would be enough motivation for most to push themselves to shed some pounds. There must have been quite a few people applying to be on the show for that season.
For those still hoping for a shot at the title of being with the former tennis sensation, we regret to inform you that your odds of capturing her heart are slim to none.
After stints with NHL stars Sergei Fedorov and Pavel Bure, the supermodel decided to abandon her efforts at walking off into the sunset with a fellow Russian, and turned her attention to the famous Latin pop star, Enrique Iglesias.
The two started dating in 2001 after she appeared in one of his videos, and they are still together today, with many rumors flying around the internet about their official status. Anna is quite secretive about her personal life, which is the one thing she seems to be shy about. "Kournikova has consistently refused to directly confirm or deny the status of her personal relationships. In June 2008, Iglesias was quoted by the Daily Star as having married Kournikova the previous year and subsequently separated. The couple have invested in a $20-million home to be built on a private island in Miami," according to Wikipedia.
Anna modeled for Esquire for the first time in July 2000, when she was the cover girl for a smoking-hot photo shoot. Even at an early age, Kournikova had the natural ability and beauty, of course, to know exactly how to work it for the cameras. After all, she was even quoted saying, "I'm beautiful, famous, and gorgeous." Yes, we know, Anna.
Esquire was just another major magazine for Anna to add to her already long modeling resume -- still in her prime, with many more years to go, and even more major magazines to look forward to working with. To be honest, even today at age 35, she doesn't look a day over twenty-something.
Okay, so she never was a champion as a singles player -- big deal. At least she can brag that at one point, she was a top-ranked player when she was ranked number 8 in the world in 2000. Being in the top 10 is quite an achievement for any professional tennis player, but Anna's biggest success came as a doubles player.
Anna actually won two Grand Slam doubles titles, both at the Australian Open with her partner Martina Hingis in 1999 and 2002. Kournikova was a very successful doubles player as a pro, winning 16 tournament doubles titles, including the two aforementioned Australian Opens, "and being a finalist in mixed doubles at the US Open and at Wimbledon, and reaching the No. 1 ranking in doubles in the Women's Tennis Association tour rankings."
Just like almost everyone in the world, Maxim loves Anna Kournikova. In fact, they admire her so much that they ranked her "#29 on the Maxim magazine Hot 100 of 2005 list." She was also "voted #19 on the 2011 Maxim list Hot 100 women," according to IMDb.
Obviously Anna is used to all of the attention and accolades. She was even named one of People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People of 1998, among the many nominations in her illustrious modeling career, which still has a long way to go.
Anna's photo shoots and cover pages for Maxim are legendary. You won't have trouble finding them; they're all over the internet.
Speaking of awards, Anna is not only a favorite over at FHM; she's a legend. The Russian bombshell has an impressive list of awards just from FHM alone.
In May 2002, she was voted "the sexiest woman in the world" by the magazine's American, Australian, and UK versions. She was then voted "the Sexiest Woman in the World in FHM's 100 Sexiest Girls poll for 2002, American edition." In 2004, she was voted as #9 on the Top 100 Sexiest Women by FHM. She also ranked as #62 in FHM's "100 Sexiest Women in the World 2005."
Anna and FHM have had a long-standing partnership, and just like fine wine, Anna only gets better with age. Lucky for us, there will be a lot more of her for years to come.