Ten years ago, she reigned as the unavoidable golden face of pro tennis, but now that Anna Kournikova hasn’t played a WTA Tour match in five years, she’s enjoying her time away from the limelight – while swatting away some persistent rumors.
“I’m not married, not pregnant, didn’t have a boob job, no Botox. What else?” Kournikova, 27, tells Sports Illustrated.
The tennis phenom paved the way for the similarly glamorous likes of Maria Sharapova, but never earned a substantial victory on the courts. She left the sport in 2003, but says she and longtime boyfriend Enrique Iglesias still have to deal with paparazzi and gawking fans.
“Girls look at him. Guys look at me,” Kournikova says. “It goes with the job, but it gets annoying when you feel violated. Just take the picture and be done.”
As for feeling pressure to always look perfect, the athlete says she doesn’t understand that obsession. “Why are people afraid of getting older? You feel wiser. You feel more mature. You feel like you know yourself better,” she says. “You would trade that for softer skin? Not me!”
– Michael Y. Park