Re: Anna K at Rogers & playing doubles with J Mac
Anna Still In Fashion
You may never get to play doubles with Anna Kournikova, but starting next year, you can take Kournikova with you to the court, the gym and your yoga class. Kournikova, who signed on as a K-Swiss endorser earlier this year, announced she is working with K-Swiss on a new apparel line to be launched at the start of 2008.
"We're coming out with a line in 2008 at the beginning of the year. It is a sportswear line," Kournikova told the media in Toronto last night where she played an exhibition mixed doubles match with Jim Courier, John McEnroe and Carling Bassett. "It will be tennis, workout stuff, yoga stuff. It will basically be stuff that you can be in the gym in and then go to a coffee shop in. It is a lifestyle line and stuff. So you can mix and match it. It will all be together and hopefully it will be cool."
Kournikova paired with Martina Hingis to win the 1999 and 2002 Australian Open doubles championships and the duo combined to win two WTA Championships doubles crown (1999, 2000). Though Kournikova confesses she does not watch too much tennis on TV these days, she said if she ever did return to competition as a doubles player she would like to reprise her "Spice Girls" partnership with the newly-single Hingis.
"The last tournament I watched was Wimbledon, and that was amazing. I mean, Venus did amazing. Really, it's hard for me to say," Kournikova said. "I just like watching tennis right now as a fan from the side. And I just always like to see good matches. I'm sure that if I wanted to come back and play ever doubles, which I'm not saying that I am, please don't print that. But of course, I would like to play with Martina. She'll always be one of my best friends on the tour, and she's just incredible. So she would be the one, for sure, I would want to play with."
Once ranked as high as No. 8 in the world in singles, Kournikova posted wins over several top players, including Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, Hingis and Lindsay Davenport. In 1997 she became the second woman in the Open era to reach the semifinals of Wimbledon in her debut on the famed grass courts. The first person to accomplish that feat was Chris Evert in 1972. Kournikova said she misses the game, but not the life of a pro player.
"Once you've lived this life, it's very hard to replace it or try to imitate," Kournikova said. "Of course I miss playing. Of course I miss being in front of thousands of fans and those 7-6 in the third matches and stuff. Do I miss traveling 11 months out of the year? I don't know, you know. But do I miss like 100-degree heat playing in it? I don't know like all the time, you know. I think it's just too long sometimes and too much. But I definitely miss the game, that's for sure."
While she has not officially retired from the WTA Tour, the 26-year-old Moscow-born, Miami resident told Tennis Week in an interview earlier this year a lingering back injury prevents her from extensive training and suggested a full-time return to professional tennis is probably impossible due to her health. Kournikova, who is still one of the most well-known women players in the world, remains active playing on the exhibition circuit. Asked about the recent rash of injuries that has diminished the presence of top 10 players in recent tournaments, Kournikova said it's a no-win situation for tennis.
"I can just say stuff happens, you know. It's a sport, and athletes and injuries and certain circumstances," Kournikova said. "It's bad from player's side, you know, because if they're injured. It's bad from the tournament's side, the tournament loses, I mean, nobody wins. It's a no-win situation. It's bad for the sponsors. But that's the way it is, and it's a risk. Having a tournament, it's a risk. It's no-win for anybody."
Though her career ended prematurely, Kournikova said she's grateful for the impact tennis continues to have on her life.
"I mean, I wouldn't have a life if I didn't play tennis," Kournikova said. "I would probably be cleaning toilets somewhere in Russia, you know. Really, that's reality."