On behalf of blondes everywhere, the blonde jokes need to stop.
We don’t think the capital of California is the letter C. We don’t take an inordinately long time to finish puzzles because the boxes says “2-4 years.” We don’t peel M&Ms and we try not to get stuck on broken escalators.
Then again, maybe these jokes are for the best. They make you underestimate us, so you never see us coming. Maybe that’s how Maria Kirilenko was able to sneak into the fourth round of the Australian Open. The 25-year-old Russian is likely hard-pressed to ever go anywhere unnoticed, but the No. 14 seed has definitely been under the radar at the start of this year’s Australian Open.
It must be difficult to be Maria Kirilenko.
Not in the ways you would think. Indeed, the 25-year-old Russian does not need sympathy because she is blessed with stunningly good looks, the endorsements and photo shoots that come with that, and a hockey-playing fiancé who worships her.
No, take pity on her because she has all those things but still wants to let her game do the talking.
With every excuse to rest on her laurels, Kirilenko continues to put in the long hours to get the most out of her petite frame and (relatively) underpowered game. An all-court player with no standout weapon, the Olympic bronze medalist in doubles has been steadily improving in the last few years and emerged at the start of this season fitter and more ready than ever to make her mark on the singles court.
A fan favorite (for obvious reasons), Kirilenko is not without her critics. Those detractors would probably tell you that she is overrated, given special attention because of her looks and with her recent engagement to Alex Ovechkin, destined for a Kournikova-esque fade out of the tennis world.
To believe all of that is to assume Kirilenko is another dumb blonde. Take it from those who watched her third round encounter with Yanina Wickmayer; “Kiri” is a smart cookie.
She was smart enough to withstand the Belgian’s early barrage. She was cool enough not to panic when that relentless stream of winners caused her to fall behind an early break. Instead, the Russian steadied herself and stayed with Wickmayer, who continued to belt winners one minute and miss only by millimeters the next.
The eventual tiebreaker was a tense affair, for it promised a massive momentum boost to its winner. Unwilling to crack beneath the weight of the moment, Kirilenko stuck to her game plan and mixed expert defense with intelligent offense, all in the effort to keep her emotional foe off-balance.Her patience was rewarded when she nabbed an essential mini-break to take the first set, but Wickmayer would not go away quickly. She persisted early in the second set with her signature aggression as a means of pegging the crafty Kirilenko to the back of the court, and began sneaking up to the net with unheard of efficiency.
But by that point, it was too late. The Russian was already dialed in and ending points earlier and earlier thanks to some flawless angles, and ran away with the second set to set up a meeting with presumptive favorite, Serena Williams.
Many will write off this match before it even begins. Kirilenko lacks the punch to keep up with the American powerhouse who has only lost one match since Wimbledon. But to underestimate the Russian would be a grave error in judgment. Be smart.
Kirilenko certainly is.
Being Anna Kournikova must suck. Well not entirely, I mean you do get the money for being Anna Kournikova and you would be blessed with good looks and goldilocks. And seriously what higher purpose in life is there than having endorsements, modeling, being goodlooking and playing some nice tennis on the side? Oh yah then there is boyfriend / husband / fiancee and whatever else Enrique Iglesias has been called.
Imagine my surprise while I was scouring for Anna Kournikova news only to find an article that says that Anna Kournikova got married to Enrique Iglesias.
The thought process was something like this:
“Wait? What? Didn’t the two of them got married six years ago, got divorced twice, back together three times and have 8 babies, which by the way aren’t necessarily Anna’s since Enrique ***** anything that moves?”
But apparently Enrique said it out loud on stage during one of his performances.
But again it must suck to be Anna Kournikova. Always with the gossips, always the weirdos trying get into your personal life and always the fans who take it too far. Ho, wait…did I just describe myself? Hmm…well who else would scour the internet looking for Anna Kournikova in the middle of the night? Nevermind…enjoy the pics and if you can handle it listen to how Enrique Iglesias calls a random Anna his wife on stage.
Photos by © Chris Rogers and his Miami Tennis Photos.
Anna Kournikova made her first public appearance since she was rescued after over two months underground along with 33 Chilean miners at last week’s Cancer Treatment Centers of America Tennis Championships in Surprise, Ariz.
Well, she wasn’t really trapped in the Chilean mine. But, while in Arizona, she did sport some great looking sun-glasses like those miners did as their eyes slowly got used to sunlight.
On Saturday, she participated in mixed doubles matches in conjunction with the event during the day and night sessions.
Mark Philippoussis won the singles title at the event, defeating Jim Courier in the final. Michael Chang beat John McEnroe in the third-place match. Other participating players were Wayne Ferreira, Jimmy Arias, Aaron Krickstein and Jeff Tarango. Ashley Harkleroad, the Playboy pin-up of tennis, also participated in the mixed doubles events with Kournikova.
Here are some more photos of the event, courtesy of the InsideOut Sports & Entertainment. For more info on the Champions Series, go to www.ChampionsSeriesTennis.com
Ever saw how uncannily accurate some players serve? We all saw the Roger Federer video and like he says a magician never reveals his tricks (right back at ya!). I got a video of Agnieszka Radwanska who is doing a little target practice who deserves equally as much credit for being so incredibly accurate.
The WTA Tour’s video collection doesn’t stop there. Next video we have is an interview of Flavia Pennetta with a colorful description that matches her personality:
One of the most stylish players on the Tour, Flavia Pennetta, lives a glamorous life traveling the world. Or does she? We caught up with one of the brightest stars of women’s tennis to find out what life is like for Flavia off court. We found out how she relaxes, who she hangs out with, and most important of all: where she likes to go shopping.
Jarmila Groth is an emerging player who recently switched nationality from Slovakian to Australian. And that switch is what the next video is all about .
Jarka Groth – winner of the Landsky Lighting Guangzhou International Women’s Open – became an Australian citizen at the end of 2009. But how much does she really know about Australia? We thought we’d test her knowledge in our Unofficial Australian Citizenship Test. How do you think she did?
And yes do let us know how you think she did. I am always interested in people’s opinions so don’t hold back.
Next up is Akgul Amanmuradova.
Akgul Amanmuradova is a talented athlete. The Uzbek star is currently enjoying one of her best seasons on the WTA Tour to date, but it could have been very different. Because Akgul is also a talented basketball player, as we found out.
Not only is she a talented tennis player but she is 1.90 meters tall or as you Americans say 6 ft 3 inch. She can always try out for the WNBA if tennis doesn’t work out.
Another player who seems to have a second calling in this lifetime is none other than US Open 2010 winner Kim Clijsters. She took time out from US Open training and did one of the most honorable things in sports; Throw the first pitch in a baseball game.
What made Kim Clijsters take time out of training for the US Open to throw out the first pitch at the Mets Game? Was she nervous? Did she practice beforehand? Watch as WTA takes you behind the scenes at Citi Field Stadium.
Now for something different. Yesterday I wrote an article about Anna Kournikova being the poster girl for goodlooking Eastern European girls I have received not only five comments but also an incredibly insightful one.
YOU NEED TO GET YOUR HEAD EXAMINED AND YOUR EYES A GOOD CHECK OUT BECAUSE THERE ARE A HANDFUL OF EASTERN EUROPEAN GOOD LOOKING WOMAN SO GO TO THE DR THERE ARE MORE BEAUTIFUL WOMAN IN SO MANY OTHER COUNTRIES SPAIN MEXICO AND THE BEST LOOKING WOMAN IVE EVER SEEN ARE FROM VENEZUELA GORGEOUS GIRLS ALL OF SOUTH AMERICA ARE GORGEOUS WOMAN AND DONT FORGET ‘BRAZIL’ THE BEST GORGEOUS AND THE BODIES TO DIE FOR NOBODY WOULD EVEN LOOK AT ANNA KOURNIKOVA THERE
Well apparently my mental health is just isn’t what it used to be. Neither are my eyes. But I did check out the other countries having been to all the countries, except Venezuela, you mention. And how can I forget Brazil when my ex fiancee hails from Brazil.
Very interesting comments you have there but in my article I did not exclude any of the other countries you mention. I never said that that Brazil, Venezuela, Spain and Mexico did not have goodlooking women. I merely pointed out that the Eastern European women on the tennis tour are incredibly goodlooking. That is all.
And just to once again confirm the myth; Here is another video of the FHM shoot with Victoria Azarenka and Anna Chakvetadze.
And to bug you even more with Anna Kournikova I have added an extra bonus in the form of a gallery of Anna Kournikova and Martina Hingis playing an exhibition match at the US Open 2010.
Please take a vote in our poll on the hottest Eastern European tennis player.
Earlier this year I wrote a post that confirmed the myth of Eastern European women. In that post I wrote that every Eastern European woman is actually goodlooking is not a myth; It’s a reality.I really actually tried to crack the myth Mythbusters style.
And I showed photos of Victoria Azarenka and Anna Chakvetadze and Dominika Cibulkova. Photos of FHM. I was brutally corrected by Tom that it was the photoshoot for FHM and not Smash Magazine.
To further confirm this myth, Maxim magazine comes with a photoshoot of the poster girl of the myth; Anna Kournikova. Anna Kournikova was once the most downloaded woman in the world. Whenever you watched Wimbledon coverage on TV and they showed an Anna Kournikova match; The stadium was sold out whether she played on Centre Court or Court 20! And it wasn’t just the boys she attracted, having been a longstanding member of the official Kournikova website forum I can confirm that lots of girls were into her as well.
Anna features on the cover of Maxim magazine for the fifth time already. And what’s great about this part is that it has got 3D photos of Anna Kournikova. That’s almost as if she’s standing live in my room eh?
In the interview with Maxim, Anna talks about her dual citizenship having become an American recently:
“You know, I’ve always considered myself half Russian and half American. It never seemed to really matter if I had a passport or not. But when I started working with the USO and the troops overseas, it just seemed the logical next step…”
On her lovelife she said the following:
“Single as in on paper? ‘Yes, but I’m in a relationship.”
If you want to read more then I suggest you visit the Maxim site to ‘read up’ on Anna Kournikova’s latest.
Thanks to the boys of Egotastic, I have managed to find the video to go with the photoshoot. So that’s a nice extra add on. Enjoy the photos and take a vote in our poll after the photos and video.
By Maud Watson
Notable Performances – There have been a number of great matches at this year’s US Open, and as predicted, some of the biggest stars in the game have lived up to their billing to reach the latter rounds of the year’s last major, while others have had some outstanding breakout performances. But a special tip of the hat has to go to Swiss No. 2 Stanislas Wawrinka. A talented player with a relatively versatile game, he’s struggled to really find his footing in the Slams. It now seems those days could potentially be behind him, as Wawrinka finally took out one of the Top 4 at a major, defeating Andy Murray in four sets in the third round of the 2010 US Open. Though he nearly faltered at the next hurdle against Sam Querrey, he found a way to follow up his big win by grinding to a 5-set victory over the American. Look for him to hopefully build on his US Open performance going into 2011, especially with the solid coaching he is getting from Federer’s former man, Peter Lundgren.
Relinquishing the Helm – Over the course of Labor Day Weekend, Patrick McEnroe announced that he would be stepping down as captain of the United States Davis Cup squad. The move stemmed from McEnroe’s desire to spend more time with his family, as well as in his other job with the USTA in developing elite players. No word yet on who will replace the younger McEnroe, but he himself had suggested that both Jim Courier and Todd Martin would make excellent candidates for the job. Whoever takes the job will have their work cut out for them, but at least there is the assurance that there’s a young and talented crop of Americans eagerly willing to step up and represent their country in the international team competition.
Back for More? – Once again Hingis is toying with the idea (and the tennis world) with the possibility that she may be coming back to the WTA Tour to strictly play the doubles circuit. Hingis has stated her decision will be based primarily on whether or not her heart is in it, as well as if she can find a steady partner. Davenport had suggested playing with Hingis but wanted to return sooner than Hingis was ready to. Curious to see if Cara Black would be interested in teaming with the Swiss Miss given that she has tried out a few different partners since she split with Liezel Huber (she’s played with four different partners at each of the 2010 majors this year). They wouldn’t bring a lot of fire power to the court, but they would be no less formidable to any opponent.
Eggs in One (Promising) Basket – Paul Annacone has opted to cut short his time working with the British LTA after being named the full-time coach of Roger Federer. The reasoning behind his immediate resignation was the potential for a conflict of interest, given that his charge could meet British No. 1 Andy Murray in the latter rounds of any tournament on any given week. Given the current state of British tennis, the move has to be a welcomed one for Annacone, particularly given the talent and prestige of some of his past clientele.
At Long Last? – On Wednesday, Chief Executive of the ATP Adam Helfant announced that the ATP would be looking at increasing the offseason by two to three weeks, and that he expects a formal decision on the matter no later than the last board meeting of the year, which takes place in mid-November. A longer offseason is well overdue, but it will be interesting to see if action is finally taken, and if so, how smoothly it will go. Currently there is no talk of moving the Australian Open start date, which seems to imply any changes to create the longer offseason would have to come from tweaking the ATP tournament calendar, and depending on the nature of those changes, it could be a bumpy road ahead.
And yes it’s literally is sunshine on a cloudy day today as it has been pouring rain for the past three days where I live. While the firemen drain the water from the streets, and I barely can get out of the house, it seemed like a good time to scour the net looking for new photos.
The US Open starts this coming Monday but by the looks of the PR and media hype it seems like the tournament is in full gear already. One of the PR and media hypes is the Nike Prime Knockout Tennis Event.
Maria Sharapova attended along with John McEnroe, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Victoria Azarenka. While an injured Serena Williams stood by on the sidelines cheering on her colleagues.
I have included extra bonus photos of Anna Kournikova doing a press conference in Bogota. Y’know, just to cheer me up for that bad weather outside.
Enjoy the US Open the coming weeks, I know I will!
If you were a tennis fan in the late 90s then you surely must have heard of Anna Kournikova and Martina Hingis. Those two were my favorite players back then. Anna , who is underrated by most tennis fans, never won a singles title but did win two Grandslam Doubles titles. Martina Hingis has won many titles including three Grandslam titles (the US Open 1x, Wimbledon 1x, Australian Open 3x) and nine Grandslam Doubles titles. And she was the number one of the world for 209 consective weeks.
So when I read that the two of them were returning to play the WTT tournaments this summer I was more than happy. Why? Because it meant I’d get to see photos of them playing. Things were even better when they entered the Wimbledon Legends doubles tournament. It was the return of the Spice Girls all over.
Fans and pundits from all over the world were elated to see Hingis and Kournikova team up again for doubles and play singles. Ofcourse this also ignited rumors that Hingis may make a return to the WTA Tour. She told the press that she may play a few doubles games with Lindsay Davenport. But we haven’t heard much of that ever since. As a fan I keep hoping that Hingis will return for at least more doubles tournaments.
I even dug up some videos of the two of them interviewed by Harry Cicma for World Tennis Magazine.
Enjoy the photos and videos. The photos are Anna Kournikova at the St. Louis Aces Vs Newport Beach Breakers match and Martina Hingis at the World Team Tennis tournament at Villanova University. Check the guy Martina Hingis is talking to. Rumor has it that he is her new beau.
I have also added extra bonus pics of Anna Kournikova At The Laureus Charity Gala At The MBB In Stuttgart.
Wow, doesn’t the year go quickly. Wimbledon is now upon us again
Around this time of the year popularity in tennis increases in Britain about ten-fold before it falls in to obscurity again in three weeks time until next year’s Championships. For years the country ground together all its emotional resources to back golden boy Tim Henman before shedding a tear or two at another close call in the semis.
Henman Hill (or Rusedski Ridge to some) has now become Murray Mound and last year in particular it was a similar story. I guess the patriots in this country just want a Brit to do well.
Of course the media will do their best. They will build him up to make him sound like he is the Fed Express itself and if (when) he tastes defeat he will be destroyed by those same pen-pushers. There will be accusations about his private life, he didn’t try hard enough, and he’s just another British failure. Nobody is more scathing of British sports stars than the British press.
This year we have some great stories before we even enter the courtside action. Federer has lost his No. 1 ranking to Rafa Nadal and will want that back. He will also, I’m sure, have one eye on a possible ten titles before he retires or at least surpassing Pete Sampras’ dominating seven.
We also have a few welcome returns too. Richard Gasquet is set to compete and try to get his career moving in the right direction again following the doping scandal and his recent play suggests he is ready to do so. Anna Kournikova and Martina Hingis will compete in the legends doubles tournament too this year. It will be Hingis’ first appearance at SW19 since her own cocaine scandal a few years back.
With the Australian and French Opens throwing us a few surprises this year here’s hoping Wimby can continue the trend and give us something special. Sam Querrey to win his first Grand Slam?
As a build-up to the greatest grass tournament of them all, we have compiled a list of great Wimby facts you may or may not already know. Enjoy:
* The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club was founded in 1868.
* In 1875 it began hosting lawn tennis, a game recently developed by Major Walter Clopton Wingfield.
* In 1877 a men’s singles Championship was held which culminated in Spencer Gore winning a final watched by over 200 spectators paying one shilling each for the pleasure.
* 1884 saw the women’s singles incorporated with Maud Watson victorious.
* From 1897 the legendary Doherty brothers, Laurie and Reggie; began a ten-year dominance of the grass courts which helped reignite a waning public interest in tennis.
* In 1905, May Sutton of the USA became the first foreign player to win at Wimbledon in the ladies singles.
* The current site opened for business in 1922 after the Championships outgrew its former Worple Road base. King George V opened the festivities and the new home saw the abolition of the Challenge Round in favour of the holder participating in the whole tournament.
* Every year during the 1920s the French produced at least one singles champion.
* 1934-37 was a Golden Era for the Brits at Wimbledon as 11 titles were captured. This included three consecutive singles titles for Fred Perry, two for Dorothy Round and three successful Davis Cup defenses on Centre Court.
* During the Second World War, the facility was used for a host of activities including a variety of civil defense and military functions, Home Guard and a decontamination unit. A small farmyard including pigs and chickens was stationed on-site and in 1940, Centre Court was bombed with a loss of 1,200 seats.
* From 1956 to 1970 Wimbledon became a home away from home for Australian players as Lew Hoad, Neale Fraser, Rod Laver, Roy Emerson and John Newcombe dominated the Championships.
* 1973 was the famous ‘Boycott Year’ as 81 members of the Association of Tennis Professionals refused to play after the suspension of Nikki Pilic by the Yugoslavian Lawn Tennis Association. Despite this, attendances still topped 300,000 as Jan Kodes won the men’s singles title.
* The tournament celebrated its centenary in 1977.
* Following recent work on Centre Court it can now hold 15,000 fans and has a retractable roof to counter the often-long rain delays.
* The USA are the most successful country at Wimbledon. They have won 33 of the 123 men’s singles championships and 53 of the 116 women’s championships.
* Pete Sampras and W.C. Renshaw are tied with the most Championships wins with seven each. Martina Navratilova leads the ladies’ field with nine.
* Laurie Doherty is the most successful overall male competitor at Wimbledon with five singles titles and eight doubles between 1897 and 1906. Martina Navratilova is tied on 20 (nine singles, seven doubles, four mixed 1976-2003) with Billie Jean King (six singles, 10 doubles, four mixed 1961-1979).
* Boris Becker became the youngest men’s champion in 1985 at 17 years, 227 days old. Miss C. Dod has been the youngest female champion since 1887 when she won just 15 years, 285 days old.
* In 1990, Jennifer Capriati became the youngest ever competitor at Wimbledon at the tender age of 14 years, 90 days old.
* The record daily attendance was achieved on the Wednesday of week one at the 2002 Championships when 42,457 attended the All England Club.
* The total prize money handed out this year will be £13,725,000, a 9.4% increase on 2009.
*The two singles champions will receive a cool £1,000,000 each, a 17.6% increase on 2009. This compares to £2000 being given to the male champion at the beginning of the Open Era in 1968 and £750 handed to the women’s champion.
We managed to obtain a few snapshots of Martina Hingis training with French talent Camille Pin at Roland Garros. This is a pleasant surprise. Hingis recently announced that she and Anna Kournikova are going to play at the Wimbledon Legends tournament. The return of the Spice Girls will surely generate a lot of publicity.
Hingis will also participate in doubles with Lindsay Davenport on the WTA Tour. The veterans have yet to announce their schedule however.
More Hingis news. Hingis will also play the World Team Tennis tour this July and a few exhibitions such as Nottingham.
It’s nice to see Hingis back in tennis. I won’t lie, I have always been a huge fan of her style of play and I hope that she will grace the courts for a little while longer than she did back in 2007.
Enjoy the photos!