Kournikova: 'I don't regret a thing that happened'
By A. SCOTT WALTON
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 05/06/06
Life as a magnet for tabloid rumors hasn't affected Anna Kournikova too adversely. The prospects for life after tennis don't discourage her either.
Kournikova, who's scheduled to compete today in the Mercedes-Benz Classic, made an appearance Friday at the Adidas Y-3 boutique in Buckhead. About 150 invited guests and reporters were visibly captivated by the willowly blonde. Kournikova, 24, spoke candidly to a reporter about the media attention given her.
Q: Has the [tabloid] media ever gotten anything right about you?
A: Some things. And sometimes their criticism was right, too. I'm not perfect. I'm sure I've made mistakes.
Q: Do you get tired of answering the question of whether you're officially retired?
A: Not at all. I understand that people want to know. I want to know too, and I'd really like to put it to rest. But I really don't know in my mind and in my heart yet. Until I do, they're going to keep asking. Once I decide if I am going to play or if I'm not, there'll be some kind of announcement. There's no timeline.
Q: Who are your role models for life after tennis?
A: I really respect and admire Oprah and Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan — they're remarkable women. ... They inspire me. Another one is Reese Witherspoon. She's got an amazing career and a family, and she's so young. And she has values. ... The people I most respect are the ones that work hard and achieve and give back to the community. They don't live isolated lives; they're actually part of the world.
Q: What's the next career move for you?
A: One of my passions is working with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. I love being with kids and, since tennis has given me so much, it's only right for me to give back. I want to encourage kids to get into sports, whether it's professionally or recreationally. Another passion of mine is the sports and fitness industry. I'm writing a column for Elle magazine. And I'm working on getting some DVDs out there focused on sports and fitness. Basically, my goal is to take the things I've learned as a professional athlete and trying to help women feel better about themselves and lead healthier lives.
Q: How would you feel if, 20 years from now, your name was more closely associated with Maxim magazine than Sports Illustrated?
A: I can't worry about what they're saying 20 years from now. I made those decisions ... well, I didn't really make those decisions, someone else made them for me. I was 18 back then, and I had managers and God knows who else advising me. Those decisions were made under certain circumstances, and I don't regret a thing that happened. If those things hadn't happened, I wouldn't be the person that I am today.
Q: Some say you are married to [singer] Enrique Iglesias, some say you aren't. What's the truth about that relationship?
A: I've been married already six times. I've been pregnant four. I've been divorced seven. What else has happened? Oh, yeah, we've been dating other people 500 times. In reality, everything is fine. He's finishing up a new album and he can't wait until it comes out. I'm very happy.
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