Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Service with a smile: Anna knows how to court fans

Service with a smile: Anna knows how to court fans

We have a short little fun sports article by Michael Felger of the Boston Herald and ESPN radio Boston regarding Anna Kournikova playing for the World Team Tennis Sacramento Capitals match in Boston ... against finger-flipping Martina Navratilova's Boston Lobsters (Seriously, I couldn't make this stuff up).

The event happens July 9th at Harvard's Bright Arena. I am sure tickets are on sale for all those who might be interested in attending.

The best part? Kournikova doesn’t seem to have a problem with either group. The Russian sex symbol knows the reasons why most people pay attention to her, and the tennis comes secondary. So be it.

During a conference call yesterday to tout her WTT stint ... Kournikova was bubbly, perky and coquettish. She giggled and guffawed. She admitted she couldn’t locate Delaware on a map (where the Capitals play three days before Boston) and had no problem with John McEnroe’s recent comments in which he said he could still handily beat the best women’s players in the world.

“John is just creating controversy,” Kournikova said with a laugh. “In a good way.”

Kournikova, 25, came across as the rarest of athletes, someone who doesn’t take herself too seriously. And despite all the criticism levied at her over the years for having never won a singles tournament (she has 16 doubles titles), you have to concede Kournikova her love of the game. Why else would she be slugging it out on the team tennis circuit years after a chronic bad back forced her from the tour?

“It’s just a great way to be on the court again,” Kournikova said. “It’s just so I can be on the court and play, because I do miss it. There are a lot of reasons why I love it.”

Even the trappings. During the upcoming trip to Delaware, for example, there will be a Kournikova look-a-like contest for girls ages 6-16. Some tennis players might take that as an affront. Not Kournikova. She’s going to serve as a judge.
“I think it will be cute to see them dressed up in their little tennis skirts,” she said.

Kournikova virtually gushed every time her impending trip to Boston was mentioned. (Maybe there’s a reason. Here’s a Tales-from-the-Naked-City item: What big-time, unmarried, local jock recently partied on the town until 4 a.m. with a high profile tennis star/sex kitten?).

“Hi Boston!” screeched Kournikova when a New England reporter came on the line. “I always have a great time up there!”

Hard to believe, but there is apparently some rowdiness in the crowds during team tennis matches. Get this: During a match last year (again, in Delaware) Navratilova gave the crowd the finger.

“There are bound to be weird incidents,” Kournikova said. “But you don’t take anything personal. Sports fans are sports fans. I think it’s awesome.” "
As a New England Patriots fan, I'm a regular reader of Felgers - and it is rare for his work to connect to something regarding Russia (the last time being Vladimir Putin's pocketing of Bob Kraft's Superbowl ring about 1 year ago).

Enjoy the light read and go see the team tennis match if you have an interest in the sport.

1 comment:

La Russophobe said...

Seeing as how you properly view A.K. as fluff, perhaps you'd be interested to know that Pravda, and apparently many Russians, don't share your view:

Instead, they seem to feel that A.K. is a great national hero who made the West respect Russia.