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Bogomolov working hard to improve game

By Cynthia Faulkner
ESPN.com

So you're at Barney's shopping with your best friend Anna Kournikova and you don't even realize you're being photographed. Such is the life of Alex Bogomolov, a Russian-born American tennis player.

Alex Bogomolov hopes to get his ranking into the top 100 by the end of the year.

"I love spending time with my best friend Anna Kournikova," Bogomolov said from the Dominican Republic. "We're best friends. We grew up playing together in Russia and had a fall off because she was playing in the U.S. When I came back from Mexico to Miami we caught up."

Bogomolov said when the pair hang out in Miami, it's no big deal, but whenever they're at a major tournament like the 2002 U.S. Open in New York people notice.

"We were just shopping and I'd never had the experience of paparazzi before," he said "It was pretty cool to see what they made up. They said we were holding hands and kissing, but we were just shopping."

At this year's Australian Open, the Sun Herald of Sydney suggested that while it's acceptable to "pat your partner on the bum every so often" in sports, did Bogomolov have to do it on every point?

But Bogomolov says it's not like that, and in fact, he appreciates the advice he's been given by the former No. 8 player in the world (even if she's never won a WTA title).

"She's helped me tremendously," Bogomolov said. "Last year I was struggling trying to make it on the futures level, and we sat down at her house and she really inspired me. She told me, 'You have to work your ass off.'

"She jumped started it for me. After that I won a couple of futures and one challenger in Pueblo to win the year."

After the Pan Am Games, Bogomolov is hoping to get a wild card to the Tennis Masters Series in Cincinnati and by virtue of his appearance at the Pan Am Games will be at the U.S. Open.

His best friend Kournikova won't be out there playing. She's still rehabbing and trying to move a little bit right now, he said.

"We stay in touch every day on the phone and support each other as much as possible," Bogomolov said.

And for those of you thinking he might be able to hook you up with her -- please don't ask.

"They have to talk to her not to me because I can't make her do anything she doesn't want to do," Bogomolov said. "Hopefully, people will start asking her if they can take me out.

"I'm still waiting."

But in the meantime, at least he's not waiting to get back in the game. He's already there.

"Back with a vengeance," Bogomolov said.

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Courtesy of ESPN and ALPHA (the poster who originally posted it in the Anna Kournikova Forum)
 

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I think he would make a better BF for Anna, cos then they could help each other out.

But what do I know about Anna's needs.:rolleyes:but if life was straightforward... then it would be the practical choice.
 

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jamesy and anna would make some gorgeous children together.

mixed babies are so beautiful
 
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