Russian-born Anna Kournikova left Moscow at the age of 9 to come to Nick Bollettieri's Tennis Academy in Florida, USA - the same academy which has also produced Monica Seles and Andre Agassi. She was the world's topped-ranked junior at the end of 1995, shortly after Martina Hingis joined the professional ranks. Kournikova debuted in professional tennis at age 14 in the Fed Cup for Russia, the youngest player ever to participate and win. Kournikova herself turned professional in 1996, and competed in her first grand slam at the US Open that year. She performed exceptionally well, defeating seeded players before finally falling to eventual champion Steffi Graf in the 4th round.
In 1997, she affirmed her position amongst the world's top players, highlighted by a semi-final appearance at her first Wimbledon as a professional. In 1998 she further surged up the rankings, with the highlight being an appearance in the final of the prestigious Lipton Championships, defeating four top 10 players consecutively along the way. Soon after, she scored her first victory over world number 1 Hingis, and just prior to Wimbledon she broke into the world Top 10 for the first time in her career. A thumb injury before Wimbledon (suffered in a match where she defeated Graf) ruled her out of tournaments for the next few months, and she has since had a tough time regaining her momentum. 1999 began with a controversial Australian Open, her play marred by poor form with her service. However, she did manage to make the 4th round in singles (her best result)as well as winning the doubles championships with Hingis as her partner.
Anna says her game wasn't modelled after any one player, although lists Graf and Seles as players she has learnt from, watching television.
Anna Kournikova's final playing years were marred by back injuries, which caused her ranking to erode gradually. Kournikova has not played on the WTA tour since 2003, but still plays exhibition matches for charitable causes. In a feature for ELLE magazine's July 2005 issue, Kournikova stated that if she were 100% fit, she would like to come back and compete again.
Anna Kournikova's fame mostly came from media publicity regarding her personal life as well as numerous modeling. She became the new face for Berlei's shock absorber sports bras range, and appeared in the highly successful "only the ball should bounce" bill board campaign in 2000. Kournikova Photographs of her scantily-clad form have appeared in various men's magazines, including more than one much-publicized Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue (2004 – 2005), where she posed in bikinis and swimsuits, and in other popular men's publications such as FHM and Maxim. Kournikova was named one of People's 50 Most Beautiful People in 1998, 2000, 2002, and 2003 and was voted "hottest female athlete". In 2002 she also placed first in FHM's 100 Sexiest Women in the World in U.S. and UK editions.
Anna Kournikova currently has a relationship with pop star Enrique Iglesias. She has appeared in his video "Escape" and rumors that the couple had secretly married appeared in 2003 and again in 2005. Kournikova herself has consistently refused to directly confirm or deny rumors about the status of her personal relationships.