Oh my, we're gonna get smoked :(
Anna will set pulses racing in Dublin
The Irish Examiner 18 Oct 2002
By Mark Gallagher
PHOTOGRAPHERS at the ready, loaded lads be prepared - Anna Kournikova will be coming to Dublin in early December for a Ryder Cup-type event between the cream of the female tennis world. For connoisseurs of the game, the Williams sisters will be representing the US in the Trilogy event, which will take place in the RDS Simmonscourt from December 4-8.
While the opportunity to see Serena Williams, who currently holds a similar sort of domination over the game that Tiger Woods holds over golf, will delight most sporting fans, there is little doubt that the organisers see Kournikova as the marquee attraction. The fact that the event kicks off with a fashion show where six, from the 10 starlets in Dublin for that weekend simply affirms this.
However, that should not take away from the ambition and scope of the event. It is the brainchild of Sean Collins, an ex-Irish professional player who spent two and a half years in the Satellite and Challenger Tours, and hopes that the upcoming fare will be the first of many such events.
Proceeds of this intriguing encounter will go towards the Chernobyl Children's Project, and should the Trilogy sell out over the next four days, the organisers believe the charity will get between 40-55% of the net profit.
The American side will include the power and might of the Williams sisters, Linsday Davenport, Monica Seles and Jennifer Capriati.
The Europeans by comparison aren't top-heavy with the best of the best. Kournikova's on-court problems have been well-publicised, but the team will lack the gifts of Kim Cljisters and Henin, as well as Martina Hingis, who has struggled all year with injury.
"We have spoken to players like Cjisters and Henin, as well as Martina, and because the event is coming at the end of the season, obviously there are personal reasons for some players being unable to come," Collins said. "But, they have all shown a great deal of interest and if this event does well, and becomes an annual event, they will be playing in years to come."
Serena Williams was the first player to show an interest in the event, illustrating once again the humanitarian side that has made her such a dignified, if dominant, champion. Once they had the game's top player on board, "the thing just snowballed," Collins said.
However, questions will still be raised about the competitive nature of the event, with the likes of Kournikova and Barbara Schett on the European side, two players probably more reknowned for their work on the cat-walk. Collins admitted that Kournikova's involvement was due to the modelling aspect, but said no other players were chosen on that criteria.
Joining the glamorous Russian and Schett on the European team, there will be Iva Majoli, Daniela Hantuchova and controvesial Slavic star Jelena Dokic.
The event will also have global exposure, with around 40 television stations interested in acquiring rights.
Tickets go on sale from Ticketmaster this morning, priced from 70 for regular seating up to €550 for an executive package