Anna Kournikova shagged her own balls in her first round match yesterday. LOL@ the former "Queen" without linespeople and ball kids.
If the article is correct this bizarre event isn't open to the public. They missed a golden chance to get paying customers!
Here's a pic and article from the local Savannah paper.
Tennis: Kournikova enjoys 'laid-back' Sea Island tournament
Rehab match ends early, but Russian tennis player wows crowd.
By Adam Van Brimmer
SEA ISLAND -- The hormonal masses sitting courtside couldn't hide their disappointment Wednesday afternoon.
One teenage boy told his friends how he'd spied Anna Kournikova warming up for her Cloister Cup first-round match a few minutes earlier. She'd worn a long-sleeved shirt -- gasp from the group -- and had smothered her face with sun block with a SPF of about 1 million _ groan.
Further down the row, 17-year-old Robert Nicholson lamented about the week-long buzz among his Frederica Academy classmates. Ever since the tennis starlet unexpectedly announced she'd play in the USTA Pro Circuit event at the local resort enclave, he'd made friends faster than LeBron James at a shoe convention.
After all, the tournament was closed to the general public. However, because he's a member of the Sea Island Club, Nicholson and any guests were welcome to attend the match.
"All the guys were talking about it, not the girls," said Nicholson with a shake of his head. "As for me, my entire college life depends on exams I have to take the next two days. But I couldn't pass up the chance to see Anna."
The leering lasted approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes. Kournikova outlasted opponent Maria Fernanda Alves, who won the first set and led 4-2 in the second set before a Kournikova rally. The Brazilian left-hander retired three games into the third set because of leg cramps -- more to the dismay of Kournikova's young admirers than their delight.
Teenage boys aside, Kournikova was just another sun-blocked face in a very small crowd as she began a self-imposed rehab stint in pro tennis's bush leagues. She warmed up privately in a public place, forever leaving at least one adolescent male with a mental image of her he'll never see in one of her pinup calendars.
She didn't receive the star treatment once her match began either. She fetched her own balls, was scolded by rule officials for listening to music and text messaging on her cell phone during an injury time-out, and was badgered by a chair umpire she found almost as pesky as the late afternoon sand gnats.
She did get in a competitive match on a clay-court surface that tested a groin injury suffered a month ago at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, however. She said she detected no pain from the injury and hopes to play her way back into shape in time for the French Open in three weeks.
"Matches like this are what I need to get there," said Kournikova, who plays a second-round match today. "I know when I go out there these girls are going to play me very hard. They have nothing to lose."
For Kournikova, a return to the USTA Pro Circuit brings back winning memories. Before she took her first step toward becoming a cultural icon by reaching the semifinals at Wimbledon in 1997 as a 16-year-old, she won two USTA events.
She hasn't won a professional tournament since, although that hasn't affected her marketability. She's made more money with her looks than her racquet the past six years and more headlines for her relationships with hockey players than her performances on the tennis court.
She maintains she's a tennis player first and an endorser/pinup girl/celebrity muse second, though. That's why she's competing in a little-known tournament with a $3,000 first prize this week.
"It's fun," she said. "I like this place. It's quiet and has a perfect setup. It's very laid-back."