The tennis star will replace trainer Jillian Michaels, who is leaving the show

By Alla Byrne
Updated May 24, 2011 06:40 PM
Credit: Orlando Garcia/JPI

Tennis star Anna Kournikova will take a swing at getting contestants into shape on The Biggest Loser next season.

With Jillian Michaels set to leave NBC’s hit weight loss show, Kournikova has been confirmed as the new trainer for season 12, according to New York Magazine.

The decision to go in a new direction with the show’s trainer is part of an overall reboot. “We intentionally tried to not replace Jillian,” executive producer Todd Lubin tells the publication.

Next season the show will be “getting slightly away from just the tape measure, and getting into overall well being and health,” says Lubin. “That’s where Loser needs to go.”

As for the 29-year-old Russian athlete, Lubin says her background makes her the right person to help motivate overweight contestants to push themselves.

“She grew up with very little in Moscow, pounding tennis balls every day when she was 5,” he says. “That’s the drive she’s bringing to the show.”