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AK-DH Fan
Jul 11th, 2005, 03:39 PM
She came, fans saw, Anna conquered


Kournikova teams up for triumph in mixed doubles


By Melody Gutierrez -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 am PDT Monday, July 11, 2005

Andre Agassi has played here. Martina Navratilova has, too. But neither of those tennis legends received the same degree of attention from fans and media as Anna Kournikova did at Allstate Stadium on Sunday.

Every time she smiled or waved, a camera flash lit up from one of the 4,102 fans in attendance. With each stroke of her racket, a proposal from a fan.

There was also an outpour of support from the area's Russian community, following the Capitals' 20-14 win over the Philadelphia Freedoms.

"I had great support here," Kournikova, 24, said of her first visit to Sacramento

Kournikova is one of 16 World TeamTennis marquee players. In her third season with the league, she said she was thrilled to learn the Capitals had drafted her this season.

"It's obviously very cool to be on a team with such a great record (historically)," Kournikova said.

Several members of the area's Russian community filled the nearly sold-out Allstate Stadium, including three 20-something beauties eager to see their favorite blonde on the court.

"We came just for Anna," said Yelena Mayboroda, 21, of Folsom by way of Ukraine. "We follow tennis and we follow her because she's Russian and we support her. She inspires us to play and she's really pretty."

The group shouted words of encouragement in Russian when Kournikova took the court in mixed doubles.

"I hear them," Kournikova said between sets. "That's pretty cool." Mayboroda and her two gal pals weren't the only Kournikova fans at Allstate Stadium with a native country in common.

"My friend called me and said did you know Anna was playing in Sacramento? I said, let's go," said Aleksandr Raku, 20, of Antelope, who was born in Moldova, Russia. "I had heard of the Capitals but I hadn't come out here before." Raku's friend Oleg Kalvagin, 20, was armed with a tennis ball and Sharpie, waiting for the chance to get Kournikova's signature.

"I'd never heard of the Capitals before this," Kalvagin said.

That didn't surprise Capitals coach Wayne Bryan, who said he expected that about one-third of Sunday evening's fans would be watching their first professional tennis match.

"That's what's great about WTT and Anna," Bryan said.

One thing the players enjoy about WTT is when the league reunites old friends.

Such was the case with Kournikova and Elena Likhovtseva, Russian-born players who had played women's doubles together briefly. Sunday, they paired up against Elena Tatarkova and Carly Guillickson, losing 5-0. The loss didn't sour Likhovtseva's excitement to see her old friend.

"I haven't seen her in a while," Likhovtseva said. "She is in great shape and she's playing great. I saw her in Paris and she was so excited. She said we'd have fun."

Kournikova said she was also excited to have the opportunity to play mixed doubles with Mark Knowles, who she played with on the tour when she was 16 years old.

"I've known them both for about 10 years," Kournikova said after defeating the Freedoms in mixed doubles 5-2 with Knowles.

During women's singles, Kournikova was Likhovtseva's biggest fan while her compatriot defeated Guillickson 5-1.

Sam Warburg chose a great night to play strong, defeating John Paul Fruttero in men's singles in a 5-4 tiebreaker.

In men's doubles, Warburg and Knowles defeated Fruttero and Josh Eagle 5-2.

The Capitals head to Houston on Tuesday with Kournikova to play the Wranglers in a match featuring Steffi Graff.

"The big question everyone wants to know is if Anna will play singles against Steffi Graff," Bryan said. "You heard it here first folks. No."

The Capitals return home Sunday against the Hartford FoxForce and marquee player Boris Becker.

AK-DH Fan
Jul 11th, 2005, 03:42 PM
What? Why is Anna not playing any singles. It's disapointing for me cuz I really wanted to see this match up. I guess ESPN will just show her in the doubles and mixed, then :(

goldenlox
Jul 11th, 2005, 03:49 PM
Anna should change her mind.

"I haven't seen her in a while," Likhovtseva said. "She is in great shape and she's playing great. I saw her in Paris and she was so excited. She said we'd have fun."

Calimero377
Jul 11th, 2005, 03:56 PM
She came, fans saw, Anna conquered


Kournikova teams up for triumph in mixed doubles


By Melody Gutierrez -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 am PDT Monday, July 11, 2005

...
The Capitals head to Houston on Tuesday with Kournikova to play the Wranglers in a match featuring Steffi Graff.

"The big question everyone wants to know is if Anna will play singles against Steffi Graff," Bryan said. "You heard it here first folks. No."

...

But maybe Kournikova will play Steffi Graf instead?

BTW, who is this "Graff" girl? Must be an American as she always turns up in articles or posts from the U.S. ....

ys
Jul 11th, 2005, 04:05 PM
Anna should change her mind.

"I haven't seen her in a while," Likhovtseva said. "She is in great shape and she's playing great. I saw her in Paris and she was so excited. She said we'd have fun."

Don't take Lena's words at face value. She has always been a sweetheart. Read it as "She is in great shape and she's playing great for someone who has not played a pro match for more than 3 years"

AK-DH Fan
Jul 11th, 2005, 04:05 PM
Huhh??.......................

goldenlox
Jul 11th, 2005, 04:06 PM
Don't take Lena's words at face value. She has always been a sweetheart. Read it as "She is in great shape and she's playing great for someone who has not played a pro match for more than 3 years"2 years.
3 years ago, she was having a decent run, until the injury in Moscow.

AK-DH Fan
Jul 11th, 2005, 04:10 PM
2 years.
3 years ago, she was having a decent run, until the injury in Moscow.

Yeah *sigh* Then it was downhill from there on :sad:

goldenlox
Jul 11th, 2005, 04:13 PM
In 2003, she had the back problem. But I wonder if she really wants to play.
A lot of athletes fight through difficult situations. But they really, really want to play.
If Anna really wants to come back, she should at least play WTA doubles.

auntie janie
Jul 11th, 2005, 04:27 PM
"Sunday, they paired up against Elena Tatarkova and Carly Guillickson, losing 5-0."
:lol: Not even one game against Elena T & Carly???

THIS is why AK will not be playing singles. The Sacramento team wants to win! AK didn't even play WTT singles last year, when she was not so far removed from her WTA career. And earlier this year, she played 36-year-old Jana Novotna in some exo, and she lost, as someone reported here. I'm sure her tennis skills are still better than those of most people who post on this board, but that doesn't mean she'd be able to give Graf a match, and I doubt she'd even want to give it a try. Doesn't matter; she's still drawing the fans just by showing up for dubs and mixed dubs, so that's good for the Capitals' bottom line, as I'm sure they realized when they signed her.

TF Chipmunk
Jul 11th, 2005, 04:31 PM
Who loses 5-0 to Tatarkova and Gullickson? :o

AK-DH Fan
Jul 11th, 2005, 04:35 PM
Yeah don't know what that's about. Really odd to me, considering Anna and Lena are accomplished dubs players

AK-DH Fan
Jul 11th, 2005, 05:30 PM
Really hope they make a change. I would luv to see them play against eachother, but it looks like if it does, it will only be in doubles :(

*JR*
Jul 11th, 2005, 05:37 PM
You tell 'em, Janie! :D Unless the match was fixed :tape: Steffi would beat this ova-exposed fake like the teenage Annaholics err, beat themselves to her pictures!
:devil:

AK-DH Fan
Jul 11th, 2005, 09:19 PM
You tell 'em, Janie! :D Unless the match was fixed :tape: Steffi would beat this ova-exposed fake like the teenage Annaholics err, beat themselves to her pictures!
:devil:

Uuh right ..........

FaceyFacem
Jul 11th, 2005, 11:11 PM
anna never fails to disappoint! whether you like her or not, more people watched tennis who weren't tennis fans when she was doing well, i was actually allowed to watch tennis at a family reunion back when she faced hingis in the FCC finals, my older cousins would watch because she was on! i wish she'd get to play steffi, and maybe recreate that eastbourne match (w/o the thumb injury), anyway, i hope they air it, plus, if steffi faces someone like likhovtseva, it just won't be as fun

TF Chipmunk
Jul 12th, 2005, 04:42 AM
On a totally different note:

Steffi is playing for Houston Wranglers right? And they're playing Tuesday?? But it's not being shown on TV. However, ESPN is showing the Houston Wranglers on Saturday. Can anyone tell me if that's the match that's really going on on Tuesday but they're just showing it on Saturday??

goldenlox
Jul 12th, 2005, 03:29 PM
On a totally different note:

Steffi is playing for Houston Wranglers right? And they're playing Tuesday?? But it's not being shown on TV. However, ESPN is showing the Houston Wranglers on Saturday. Can anyone tell me if that's the match that's really going on on Tuesday but they're just showing it on Saturday??It's hard to believe that ESPN2 is going to show an old WTT tape.
But that's what the schedule says -

July 9 - New York Sportimes (Navratilova) @ Boston (Hingis) 11 p.m. EST - ESPN2
July 16 - Sacramento (Kournikova) @ Houston (Graf) 11 p.m. EST - ESPN2
July 23 - Hartford (Becker) @ NY Sportimes (McEnroe) 11 p.m. EST - ESPN2

goldenlox
Jul 12th, 2005, 04:27 PM
I know Anna beat Steffi at Eastbourne, but I don't know their h-2-h.

auntie janie
Jul 12th, 2005, 04:35 PM
I am sure they ARE going to air tapes of those marquee matches. If you look at the results page on the WTT site, you are going to see a lot more Cargill/Bondarenko-level players than big names. No way is ESPN2 going to expect anyone to tune in for one of those events.

The WTT marketing is pretty disgraceful. They blare out the big names without mentioning that those stars, such as Venus Williams, Sharapova, Davenport, or Graf are only going to be performing ONCE. :rolleyes: (maybe Vee is playing twice; am not sure). And they feed the media expressions such as "the Sacramento Capitals, led by Anna Kournikova", without mentioning that AK is only playing 3 times for them, and 0 times in singles. BJK goes on and on about all the stars she attracts to WTT and never mentions that most nights, fans are going to see NO stars, often not even a single mid-level player, but only a slew of no-names -- including some that even Challenger fans have never heard of. Naughty BJK! :p

Sorry, that rant got a little bit off-topic. :D

auntie janie
Jul 12th, 2005, 04:44 PM
Example: Here's the lineup from last night when St. Louis played the "Steffi Graf-led" Houston team -- can you believe the excitement??? :devil:

Erlich/Russell (STL) def. Cargill/Fisher (HOU) 5-2

Cargill/Gallovits (HOU) def. Jackson/Russell (STL) 5-3

Ram (STL) def. Newport (HOU) 5-3

Cargill (HOU) def. Jackson (STL) 5-3

Erlich/Ram (STL) def. Fisher/Newport (HOU)

TF Chipmunk
Jul 12th, 2005, 05:02 PM
It's hard to believe that ESPN2 is going to show an old WTT tape.
But that's what the schedule says -

July 9 - New York Sportimes (Navratilova) @ Boston (Hingis) 11 p.m. EST - ESPN2
July 16 - Sacramento (Kournikova) @ Houston (Graf) 11 p.m. EST - ESPN2
July 23 - Hartford (Becker) @ NY Sportimes (McEnroe) 11 p.m. EST - ESPN2
Thanks!! :wavey:

meyerpl
Jul 12th, 2005, 05:12 PM
What the hell. Maybe Rod Laver can get in on this.

AK-DH Fan
Jul 12th, 2005, 08:48 PM
Wait so if Graf is playing Lena. What will ESPN show. Sorry I'm really confused ?

goldenlox
Jul 12th, 2005, 08:51 PM
Wait so if Graf is playing Lena. What will ESPN show. Sorry I'm really confused ?ESPN wants to show Steffi-Anna.
They'll probably show Steffi-Lena, and some of Anna's doubles.

auntie janie
Jul 12th, 2005, 08:51 PM
ESPN will show Houston vs Sacramento. Don't worry, you Kourni fans will definitely get to see your fave in the doubles and mixed (there is 1 set of each). It's probably in the tv contract. Again, it was a little naughty of the media to present it as Graf versus Kourni rather than as a team with Graf on it playing against a team with AK on it.

Dinkie
Jul 12th, 2005, 09:42 PM
Who loses 5-0 to Tatarkova and Gullickson? :o

It was 5-2, still, it's a defeat.

miranda_lou
Jul 12th, 2005, 10:13 PM
What the hell. Maybe Rod Laver can get in on this.


He already has . . . Laver played WTT back in the 70s.:rolleyes:

If ESPN shows two hours of WTT the way they did last week then we'll get to see all of the womens' singles with Stef and all of the doubles and mixed with Anna K (and probably Steffi). Then they will show the beginning of the mens' singles and mens' doubles and skip forward on both. That's how they did it last week when Martina senior and junior played. None of these teams have any marquee men players. The biggest name last week on Martina senior's team was Thomas Blake who is James Blake's older brother.:lol: (He's really cute though. Cuter than James, actually.:kiss: )

AK-DH Fan
Jul 13th, 2005, 04:09 AM
K thanx everyone for clearing that up :) !!!.........................except *JR*

goldenlox
Jul 13th, 2005, 03:16 PM
Representing the Houston Wranglers, the 36-year-old Graf was unable to shake off the rust of a six-year absence, losing her singles match to Russia's Elena Likhovtseva of the Sacramento Capitals 5-4.

In the tournament, the teams play best-of-nine game single-set matches in five disciplines, two singles and three doubles.

Graf, who retired in 1999 after winning 22 grand slam titles, then teamed up with Ansley Cargill in women's doubles but lost 5-2 to Likhovtseva and Anna Kournikova.

However, the German was successful in the mixed doubles after she and Mardy Fish overcame Mark Knowles and Kournikova 5-3.