Kournikova's Crisis Deepens - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 71 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Kournikova's Crisis Deepens

Hey guys, I found this on BBC Sport. Make of it what you will.

Kournikova's crisis deepens


Kournikova has made millions through endorsements

By BBC Sport Online's Tom Fordyce
March was an instructive month in the life of Anna Kournikova.

Away from tennis, her starring role in the video of Enrique Iglesias's 'Escape' helped the single to number one in the British charts.

On-court, she was beaten in the first round of the Masters in Miami by the unheralded Eleni Daniilidou.


Hingis v Kournikova
Ranking: 3rd/66th
Singles titles: 40/0
Grand Slam titles: 5/0
On-court earnings: £11.6m/£2m

Now, as April gets underway, one of her main sponsors has warned that her on-court form must improve if she is to keep her current lucrative endorsement deal.

"More sporting success is vital if she is to be taken seriously as an athlete," said adidas chief executive Herbert Hainer.

"She will have to train harder and then attack to hopefully win her first tournament."

And there's the trouble. It's very hard taking seriously a player who has yet to win a single tour event in over 100 attempts.


Kournikova's form has been poor once again this spring

Yet the level of the 20-year-old's off-court earnings suggests a talent on par with that of Tiger Woods or Kobe Bryant.

Kournikova is in many ways the archetypal 21st century sportswoman, a triumph of hype over achievement.

She was arguably the first sporting star of the internet age, her name being one of the most frequently requested words in search engines.

Most British fans have seen far more of her on the hundreds of fansites on the web that at Wimbledon, where she has failed to make any sort of impact since reaching the semi-finals in 1997.

Last summer her adverts for Berlei sports bras were plastered across billboards throughout the UK, giving her a profile bigger than that of any other player.

Dumped out

But she didn't even make it as far as the first round at the All England Club - a stress fracture of the foot keeping her out.

It was the same story in 2000. While Forbes Magazine named her 58th in their Power 100 Fame and Fortune list, the only female athlete in the top 100, she was dumped out of Wimbledon in the second round.


Kournikova says her training makes her too masculine

Is this the sort of form that justifies endorsements worth £7.5m that year?

Kournikova's only successes have come in doubles events. She has twice won the Australian Open title, both times with Martina Hingis.

Hingis provides an interesting counterpoint to Kournikova's crisis.

As a player, the Swiss is undoubtedly superior - her five Grand Slam singles titles dwarfing the Russian's achievements.

But both are threatening to be swept away by the new breed in women's tennis, the players whose game revolves around brute power rather than prettiness.

Hingis has not won a Grand Slam since Venus and Serena Williams hit their peaks and Jennifer Capriati returned from the wilderness.

For all her stroke-playing talents, she does not have the weight of shot to compete with the Americans at their best.


Kournikova has failed to win a tournament in over 100 attempts

Kournikova lacks both the subtlety of her doubles partner and the strength of the others.

Does she realise? Probably. Is she prepared to so anything about it? Doubtful.

"I hate my muscles," she said recently.

"I don't want to look like they [Venus and Serena] do. I'm not masculine like they are."

It's an attitude that may eventually cost her dear. Does Marion Jones complain that the weights programme that took her to Olympic and world championship success made her look too beefy?

Does Inge de Bruijn moan that the shoulders which powered her to Olympic swimming gold are too big?

Bond girl?

There is also the question of how long simply being blonde and attractive can keep the sponsors happy.

Venus and Serena embody a different kind of beauty, yet sponsors are falling over themselves to be associated with them.

Does Tiger Woods suffer for not being blond and blue-eyed? Of course not.

Kournikova is rumoured to be making an appearance in the new James Bond film.

It would be a rather appropriate role.

The story of a good-looking star whose physical charms often see them through difficult situations might be written for Anna.

She'll be making only a cameo in the movie. A starring role in the future of women's tennis is another matter entirely
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post #2 of 71 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 02:21 PM
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Another "lets kick them while they're down story".
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post #3 of 71 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 02:23 PM
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I am not a huge fan of Kournikova but I do wish she'd win a tournament to shut the press up...Her beauty has earned her a lot of endorsements but a lot of criticism as well.

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy.
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post #4 of 71 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 02:34 PM
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Thanks for posting the article, apoet.

I think it's a good idea for sponsors to require more of her, because IMO, Anna's a joke. I hate that she's rewarded just for her looks (which aren't great in absolute terms). Other tennis players work so much harder to eek out a fraction of what she makes. *sigh*.

No one's all of a sudden kicking Anna while she's down. With a 100+ losing streak, she's been down the whole time. And from the looks of it, she's willingly lain down out of laziness.

Time to wake up dear little Anna. If you want it, you're going to have to work for it.
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post #5 of 71 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 02:36 PM
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i agree for the most part on this article...its refreshingly frank about everything...if anna wants that endorsement deal its only fair that she earns it

Good luck to the Aussie and Balkan girls!
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post #6 of 71 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 02:38 PM
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If those quotes of Anna are true and accurate than Anna is getting exactly what she deserves on the court... nothing. And is that a veiled threat from Adidas of perhaps dropping her? I'm sure Nike or some other big company will snatch her up, but obviously she's not serious and committed to doing what it takes to get her game back on course and up a couple of levels to make her much of a threat or even competitive against the top players for that fact.

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post #7 of 71 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bright Red
Thanks for posting the article, apoet.

I think it's a good idea for sponsors to require more of her, because IMO, Anna's a joke. I hate that she's rewarded just for her looks (which aren't great in absolute terms). Other tennis players work so much harder to eek out a fraction of what she makes. *sigh*.

No one's all of a sudden kicking Anna while she's down. With a 100+ losing streak, she's been down the whole time. And from the looks of it, she's willingly lain down out of laziness.

Time to wake up dear little Anna. If you want it, you're going to have to work for it.
Bright Red,
I could not agree more. It is time to have some substance behind all the hype. If she is trully an athlete, she should be willing to make the necessary steps to get there. Look at Hingis, while she is still slight in stature when compared to the Williams and Capriati, it is obvious that she is spending more time in the gym getting a litle more buff. This was never more obvious than at the Australian Open.

From this article it seems as though she considers herself first a beauty queen and a tennis player second. I am not saying go out and get the muscles of Serena, who has such a curvacious body that she can pull it off, but a little time in the gym will not hurt the old serve and groundstrokes.

I am not conceited, I am just convinced
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post #8 of 71 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 02:45 PM
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well Anna is not the first player who says I hate my muscles like the reporter tries to make us believe , it only didn't stop the others from practising and working hard, there should be a middle in but anna makes it likes she doesn't do anything anymore because she want's to be female. in that case I rather say retire and give you centrecourt place to player who deserve it and want to do something for it!

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post #9 of 71 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 02:50 PM
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First off, the story's fair.

Second, if you're more worried about looks than performance, you aren't a professional, you're dilletante. She'll either pump up, or watch those endorsement dollars fade. When the chief executive of adidas says you have to start winning or he's gonna stop paying you, it's time to wake up.
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post #10 of 71 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 02:52 PM
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She has a point, I would udnerstand a woman that would hate to look more masculine. It is very natural. Unfortunately, WTA tennis was drawn by certain individuals into becoming a sport of masculine women.. That's somewhat regretful..

"..just knowing that as long as i choose life, there is hope."

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post #11 of 71 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 03:05 PM
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I think that Adidas has made a good move and prahaps Anna will start to put some effort into tennis and not into poncing around on videos and photoshoots which seems to be her main love at the moment...

K i m C l i j s t e r s 2 0 0 5 U S O C h a m p !

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post #12 of 71 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 03:09 PM
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Yeah. I see what Adidas doing is to help motivate Anna to play better tennis. But really, does she need so much money from Adidas anyways? She has lots of other endorsement contracts already


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post #13 of 71 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 03:13 PM
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like somebody said when adidas drops anna she will have a new sponsor in 5 minutes, so I doubt it will work!

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post #14 of 71 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 03:17 PM
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Anna is a pitiful case. Read her comments and they are just excuses. She makes it seem that choices are there for her to make. There really are none, she's just not as good or talented as other players period. I remember back in 98 and 99, she was rated every bit as good as Venus. When they played there was much hype. Now 3 or 4 years later she still has not even won a tourney, not to mention a slam. People have the nerve to say the Sisters are not dedicated to their sport, when Anna is the poster child. It is not her fault they gave her the money nor do I expect her to give it back. Just quit pretending to be a tennis player.

Hi Venus

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Hi Daniela "lil v"

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Venus and Serena ferocious grannies --- Kimiko Date Krumm great granny still doing her thing.
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post #15 of 71 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 03:19 PM
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There's no need to bite the writer's head off-He's right on point in my not so humble opinion...
I'm actually surprised it took this long to hear from the TIIC at addidas. What other sporting company pays someone simply for their looks?? Maybe Anna should try endorsing beauty products in the future, then again she may not feel secure--- because as beautiful as Cindy Crawford is, she was dumped by Revelon for being too old... There's always another new face .

P.S. There is nothing wrong with masculine looking women. Case in point Serena Williams--- Her body is so well proportioned. I don't want arms as big as hers, but I'll kill for her wasit and stomach :P



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