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http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/tennis/news/2003/04/28/roundup_ap/

Kournikova to play USTA event at Sea Island
Monday April 28, 2003 9:03 PM


SEA ISLAND, Ga. (AP) -- Anna Kournikova, trying to recover from a thigh injury in time for the French Open, is scheduled to play in a USTA Professional Circuit event at Sea Island next month.

The $25,000 clay-court tournament will be held May 4-11 at The Cloister tennis facility on Georgia's coast.

"This will be a huge thing for us," said Sea Island teaching pro Dickie Anderson. "It's unheard of at this level to have a player like her."

Kournikova is recovering from a torn abductor muscle in her thigh. The injury forced her to retire from her opening-round match at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, S.C., on April 9.

She was scheduled to play in a USTA circuit tournament in Dothan, Ala., last week but withdrew. She wants to play at Sea Island in preparation for the French Open, which begins May 26 in Paris.

Kournikova has never won a WTA event, but her off-the-court exploits have made her one of the sport's most recognizable players.

"It's a bonanza that's fell into everybody's lap," Anderson said. "I pray every night to make sure nothing happens, but I get the gut feeling she's coming unless she reinjures it between now and then."

Kournikova has not played in a USTA circuit event since 1996.
 
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Looking forward to it. :) That would be a huge drama between Kournikova and Sharapova. ;) I hope Sharapova is on the other side of the draw and meets Kournikova in the final! ;)
 

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Lot of pressure for Anna as everybody expects her to win, I bet.
 

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I don't think Anna will feel too much pressure this time, although with Anna you never know. I think she is playing this just to get some match practice and some confidence. She isn't really thinking about the ranking or if she wins it or not. She knows that it won't make a difference because she would win almost no ranking points and it doesn't count as a WTA title.
 

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Something tells me that traffic in our little Challenger Forum on this board is about to increase exponentially! :eek:

Actually I think it is exciting for those of us who love to follow the Challengers. We should get lots of articles and even photos this time, maybe even a bit on tv, on Sportcenter! All of which is unheard of with the $25ks.

As for Anna herself, I think it is a good move for her. Why not try it? And this Challenger, unlike most, is held at a cushy resort. I think she will have a good time there.
 

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I dont know why I am so excited about Anna playing challengers, cos it should be a bad thing, but I guess its putting her on the road to recory!!!
 

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:rolleyes: i'll start believing when she actually commits to it and plays it. good for you Anna, you're stepping in the right direction. get your game going:bounce:
 

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I don't believe that she will play.
But if she does, then she is really making a fool of herself and loses all credibility that is left. Giving back a WC for Berlin because of injury and then play a challenger, that would be absolutely ridiculous. :rolleyes:
 

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GoDominique said:
I don't believe that she will play.
But if she does, then she is really making a fool of herself and loses all credibility that is left. Giving back a WC for Berlin because of injury and then play a challenger, that would be absolutely ridiculous. :rolleyes:
That's assuming Berlin told the truth, why she gave back her WC, seemed pretty strange that 10 days before the event, she decided she wasn't going to play?

If she does play the challenger, more likely Berlin lied about the reason she wasn't playing there event and it was more due to the fact that she just wants matches and is more likely to get them at the challenger, then she would at Berlin.

BTW the commitments list has been updated today and her name still appears.
 

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ajayares said:
That's assuming Berlin told the truth, why she gave back her WC, seemed pretty strange that 10 days before the event, she decided she wasn't going to play?

If she does play the challenger, more likely Berlin lied about the reason she wasn't playing there event and it was more due to the fact that she just wants matches and is more likely to get them at the challenger, then she would at Berlin.

BTW the commitments list has been updated today and her name still appears.
Even if they lied (which I don't believe), I still fail to understand Anna's decision to play a $25K (and still can't imagine that it will actually happen).

I mean, there are things like tier III, IV, V, $75K events and, yes, there are also qualification rounds (!).
So why in hell a $25K ???
 

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I totally see Anna's level of thinking.

She is much more likely to gain match experience at Sea Island, although a lower level of players.

If she were to play Berlin, there is about a 90% chance she won't win 2 matches. At Sea Island, there's about at 90% chance she WILL win 2 matches. That is probably what she needs more than anything else is actual match play against real competitor (which she can only gain in real tournaments -- not exos)
 

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GoDominique said:
Even if they lied (which I don't believe), I still fail to understand Anna's decision to play a $25K (and still can't imagine that it will actually happen).

I mean, there are things like tier III, IV, V, $75K events and, yes, there are also qualification rounds (!).
So why in hell a $25K ???
She isn't ready to play again until next week (only resumed full training recently) and there is only Berlin and then Rome (not sure if she will play there either) So there isn't anything else apart from the tier 1 event. Not sure what other challenger events are on next week though.
 

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Sharky, you would lose that bet! I don't expect Anna to win this challenger when she hasn't played a match in over a month and the challenger is played on a clay court. Which just happens to be Anna's worst surface. Realistically I would be pleased if she won a couple rounds and didn't get injured in the process. I want her in good form and healthy by the time the grass court season starts.

Anna has already made a few comebacks in her career. I hope she has a long term comeback in her this time. But I just don't know.
 

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is anyone else becoming slightly fed up of these announcements only to have them withdrawn days before the tourny?? grrrrrrr....
 

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TC, is that fed up or Fed Cup? ;) Of course it's frustrating! But what can we do about it? Or what can tennis do about it? Think of how the tournament organizers feel when a big name pulls out on them at the last minute. :( TC, you seem to know alot about tennis. What would you suggest the WTA or ATP do about this problem? I say after pulling out of so mnay tournaments per year, that player be suspended from their next scheduled tournament. I know that's a stiff penalty. But something has to be done.
 

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Alex Stevenson was ridiculed because she played a 25k, and now Anna plays one and everyones happy? Alex's game last year was at about the same level that Anna is now. She was just trying to get her confidence back.
 
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