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Interview in Miami
telegraph.co.uk

June 2009

 

 


About getting older:
Anna: "I like myself so much better now. I've completely changed since quitting the tour. When I was playing, I was 21 years old and now I'm in my late twenties. It would be strange if I hadn't grown up, if I hadn't changed. I like getting older. I wouldn't want to be 22 or 25 in my head again. I feel as though I'm getting smarter and wiser and learning a lot of things. Now that I'm older, I'm much more tolerant of myself, much kinder towards myself. Maybe it would be nice to have the skin of a 20 year-old, though. [Kournikova illustrated that last point by yanking at the skin around her eyes, but wrinkles are not a problem]"

Never having won a Singles Title:
Anna: "Did it frustrate me that people always said I never won a singles title? No, not at all. It doesn't frustrate me now. And it didn't frustrate me then either. I have no life-changing regrets from tennis. I know what I have achieved. I don't care or want to change anyone's perception or opinion of me. But do I sometimes wish it were different and that people gave me more credit? Yes. I've still got a heart. I'm not made of ice. At the same time, I've been in the public eye for so many years, there's been so much criticism, so much scrutiny, so much time in the spotlight, that I've developed a certain shield, a certain thick skin, if you will. But the most important thing is what you think of yourself and what you did, and what the people close to you think. I'm not here to prove or to scream or to remind people. As long as I know that I achieved things in tennis, that's what matters to me. You cannot be good for everybody. There are always going to be some people who like you and some who don't. I don't even think about pleasing other people."

About the story that a male spectator called out during a match, "Anna, will you marry me?":
Anna: "That was made up. There are a million things that have been made up about me. There was someone screaming something at me every two seconds during my matches. Do you really think that I would answer when people screamed out at me?"

About Miami:
Anna: "I love Miami because it's so low-key. It's not a proper city like New York or Los Angeles, where if you go outside you have to be properly dressed and everything. In Miami, I could walk around naked. The good thing here is that there aren't too many photographers chasing you. If you're in LA, the photographers are everywhere."

About Women's Tennis and Sex Appeal:
Anna: "Where there are women, there is always glamour. Sex appeal is always going to be a part of tennis, but the most important thing is how you do on the court. When I was playing, people just got used to me being a pretty face, I guess."

 

 

 

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 Find out more at Anna's offical website:
kournikova.com