[an error occurred while processing this directive]

 

 

Anna Kournikova
nna Kournikova is a Russian female tennis player, one of the best in the world, relatively speaking. She's never won any singles tournaments, though she's done quite well in doubles with Martina Hingis, winning several grand slam titles.  Kournikova is exceptionally attractive and looks tremendous in her little tennis outfits, as well as the sexy clothing she wears other times.  She also dates famous male athletes, all the better to get in the headlines.

The biggest news about her of recent years came when Penthouse featured photos they claimed were of her, sunbathing topless in Miami.  Hilarity ensued. Scroll down for that one; more recent news items are on top.

 

October 16, 2003

I don't think that Kournikova is as dumb as her reputation makes her out to be, but this news item and her quote is just priceless.

Kournikova, a 22-year-old Russian, told the London Evening Standard on Monday that she plans to quit tennis early next year and devote herself to becoming an actress and TV awards presenter.

"Acting and presenting are definitely things I enjoy doing," Kournikova, who was in Monte Carlo hosting the World Music Awards, told the newspaper. "I'd love to appear in something like 'Sex and the City' or 'Friends.' I get offered lots of those sorts of jobs, but I've never had time to pursue them because of my tennis."

Okay, it's not actually her quote, but come on, "devote herself to becoming a TV awards presenter?"  As if that's a high-skill position?

Honey, you wear a nice dress that you don't pay for, nice jewelry that you don't own, get your hair and make up done by professionals, are led to stand in the right spot by stage hands, and then walk out with some other semi-celebrity when they call your name.  You walk to a podium and read some lines off of a teleprompter, then open an envelope and read the winner's name.  What amount of concentration does that really require?

So basically Kournikova is famous for being prettier than the average tennis player, wearing sexy, cutting-edge tennis outfits, doing lots of calendars, and being smart enough to never do any actual nudity, thus keeping the market for her sexy clothing photos strong.  The publicity she pulls is amazing though, for a woman who is clearly sub-supermodel beauty and who has never won a professional singles tournament of any kind.

Based on her track record, I think she will succeed in making the tricky transition from "famous" to "famous for being famous."  You know she'll never act in anything that anyone remembers her for.  She doesn't have any talent other than being pretty, she can't speak very good English, she giggles and pauses constantly when interviewed, and she doesn't even have very good taste in who she dates; all too often picking foreign hockey players, who might as well be state senators from Oklahoma, as famous as they are to the average American. Lately she's stepped it up to relatively famous pop singers, which is a good career move, but can she keep getting in the news while never doing anything particularly newsworth?

She's obviously got no hope if the looks fade, but you just hope she doesn't have to descend to Pamela Anderson's level, and try to become famous entirely for her gigantic implants and skeevy boyfriends.  That's obviously worked for Pamela, but she was actually on Baywatch, back when that was a career booster, and she's got a good talk show personality, annoying though she may be once the interview passes five minutes or strays off the topic of her latest loser boyfriend or T&A entertainment project.

It will be interesting to see if Anna can maintain her fame without having to get black eyes in domestic disputes, or leak "stolen" porno tapes of herself at strategic intervals.

 

 

January 13, 2003

Just what the world's media needs; another excuse to stare at Kournikova's ass.  Rumors have been running wild about what she got tattooed on the small of her back, since she's been seen with a patch there, apparently hiding a new tattoo.  Playing at the Australian Open this week, she's commented on speculation.

But laughing at reports the plaster was to cover up the name of a boyfriend or some body art, the blonde Russian said: "I don't think I have anything on my body, no.

"It is a heat patch ... I have had chronic back pain and it is a heat patch I have worn for some years.

"My skirt is a little lower this year which is why you can now see it."

She may be telling the truth, since as you can see in some of the photos, her skirt is rather low on the waist.  Several inches below her belly button, while women generally wear them over or above the navel.  Tennis skirts, at least.

Yes, any excuse to stare at her bootilicious ass will do.

Her claim is that her skirt is just a bit lower this year, and that the patch she's always worn to help keep her sore back loose is now visible when it previously wasn't.

Anna Kournikova of Russia wears a patch on her back during her match against Henrieta Nagyova of Slovakia at the Australian Open January 13, 2003. Kournikova has settled one of the ongoing debates at this year's Australian Open -- the fabled tattoo on her back does not exist. Speculation has been rife that the patch covered a tattoo. Kournikova on Monday said it was just a heat patch. REUTERS/Peter Jones

Before Anna's official explanation, ESPN.com had some fun.

 

 

 

August 5, 2002

Women's tennis is a highly-competitive sport, and it's all about winning and losing, not whether or not you look good.  Right?  Anyway, in the recent tournament Anna Kournikova played Jelena Dokic in the semi-finals.  Jelena won and then got slaughtered by on of the William's sisters in the finals, but that's irrelevant.  Compare Anna to Jelena (good lord).  Too soon to say if there will be a changing of the guard in the "hottest tennis babe" rankings, but Jelena certainly has Anna beat in a few prime assets.  So to speak.

Unfortunately for Jelena, she actually tries hard to win, which results in photos of her looking like ome sort of ruby-lipped court carp. Not that being gorgeous or not is the real factor in determining the sex symbol race.  Britney (see next item) is probably the most pictured woman on the Internet and she's pretty, but far short of supermodel looks; it's that she's young and has the whole slutty style, as well as being a singer and such.  Being one of 50 gorgeous models isn't a real stand out position. Being the hottest of a bunch of pretty tennis players/singers is, especially if you have good PR.

 

June 25, 2002

Men love lesbians.  Well, men say they love lesbians, but what men really love are hot chicks looking sexy together, and maybe even having sex with each other, but only if they are still heterosexual women, who would of course need a real man (I.E. me) to "truly satisfy" them.

This is of course not news to anyone, so what brings forth this shocking revelation on my part? This.

AP Photo/Alastair Grant
It's the most popular photo on Yahoo by a lot: in the last six hours it's been forwarded 655 times, while the second most popular pic has 122 forwards.  Of course it's nothing sexual at all, Anna Kournikova is on the right, the woman she played, and lost to, Tatiana Panova, is on the left.  Both are Russians, and in their country/culture it's not uncommon for women to kiss after a hug.  She's not aiming for the lips, it's that side of the cheek peck thing they do, usually after a quick hug.  Of course when a (hetero) man sees a photo like this, his dick starts talking and tells him it's something different.

As the shot caption relates, Kournikova has bombed out of yet another Grand Slam event in the first round.

On the Kournikova subject, there's also this shot, with five pretty blondes who are said to be Kournikova look alikes.  I find it interesting since clearly none of them look anything like each other, or especially like Kournikova.  It occurs to me that blonde women with long hair are thought to be much more similar in appearance than women with red hair, or brown hair, or black hair.  It's like the blonde hair trumps all other physical features, so you end up with 5 blondes in a photo, and they can say they are Kournikova look alikes, when they are nothing of the kind.

Though I bet any one of them topless would fool Penthouse.

Elsewhere on the Kournikova subject, as I saw in various captions of photos of her on the Yahoo slideshow, she has been dethroned!

According to readers of British tennis magazine Ace, Kournikova has been outvoted as the sexiest woman in tennis by Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova.

You may wish to join me in asking, "Daniela who?"

Daniela Hantuchova.  So if she's that hot, she must be in a lot of photos, right?  Guess again.  Here's the news photo search for her name on Yahoo now.  She comes up in 12 captions, but she's only shown in one shot, and it's not a real good one.  In the other 11 she's named as the other woman on the court, and not pictured.  Now wouldn't you think the hottest woman in tennis would be in the pictures?  She's mentioned in the captions, but only as playing Kournikova, playing Hingis, playing Navratilova, etc.  You do see her in this one with Navratilova, but only from behind/the side.

I had to do a web search for her, curious to see what she looks like, and this site had a good selection of images when I checked yesterday.  However as I try it now, it's giving me all sorts of weird pop up warnings about bad encryption certificates, and won't load in MIE.  So just for a quick look at the woman, this fan site has a few images, and this one has a page of them, but it's loading at glacial speed.  I think that after people like myself saw her named as the sexy new thing, they all sought out the sites she was pictured on and overloaded their servers.  One Geocities site for her is giving the "bandwidth allocation exceeded" message now.

Anyway, the photos I did see have confused me. As the captions on Yahoo say, the readers of Ace Magazine, a British tennis mag, voted Hantuchova the sexiest woman in tennis.  I have no idea how many votes there were, or if they had one really good picture of her in the mag with the vote, but speaking as a formerly active heterosexual male, I can assure you they are smoking crack.

Hantuchova is pretty, but she's like the pretty friend of your 15 y/o niece.  She in no way approaches the near-supermodel looks of Kournikova, and if Hantuchova wants to be on magazine covers, she'd better pose nude, or start winning tournaments.

I don't mean it as a criticism of her, she's pretty and probably will be a much better player than Kournikova, and she didn't ask for the attention of being named the sexiest tennis player.  She's just far from hot enough to deserve the title. Not that I'd kick her out of the jacuzzi or anything, mind you...

 

Another article on Kournikova, that I just now read.  She was asked some slightly non-softball questions in a post-defeat interview on the BBC, and got snippy and stomped out.

After failing to get past the first round for the fourth tournament in a row, Kournikova was irritated when interviewer Garry Richardson suggested she should consider playing some lower-tier tournaments.

"I just don't think you should phrase the question that way,'' she snapped. She stood up, and asked that the taped segment start over. The BBC later aired the entire session.

The WTA tour complained about the cruel questioning, other players are defending her, but the BBC and other media are standing by their analysis.

"Her nerves are shot, she has no confidence, and she is not in very good shape, and if she is telling you otherwise then she's kidding herself,'' McEnroe said. "You can see that by watching her.

"At the same time let's not forget she got to the semis here and did break into the top 10. She's heading in the wrong direction very quickly and she's tried a number of different people.

"Wimbledon was her best chance. It's time for some serious reassessment and some serious practice.''

Anything involving Kournikova is huge news though, especially in the T&A and scandal-obsessed British tabloids.

Kournikova's defeat and interview spat made front, middle and backpage headlines in Britain's newspapers Tuesday.

"Is it game over for Anna?'' asked the Daily Mail in a two-page spread that said "TV tantrum tarnishes gold girl image.''

The Daily Telegraph, under the headline "Kournikova starting to look like last year's model,'' said her Wimbledon "is all over in an afternoon of posing and pouting, with a few tennis shots thrown in."

 

May 7, 2002

There was funny news a couple of weeks ago that Penthouse was publishing pics of Anna Kournikova.  I saw a couple of the pics on the news, with the breasts hidden of course, and it was so obviously not her. Similar looking woman, but much darker skin and brown hair.  Now it turns out the pics are of the "daughter-in-law of fashion designer Luciano Benetton", and are from seven years ago.  Let's hear it for journalistic integrity.  Not that anyone would expect that from Penthouse anyway.  The article is funny, and this is the best part.

The suit alleged the topless photographs have caused Soltesz-Benetton great embarrassment.

It alleged it is "all the more degrading" that the photographs appear in an issue that contains such explicit sexual pictures as a fully nude woman "performing fellatio on a plastic male member while purportedly fantasizing about being a slave girl who is raped by an ancient Roman soldier."

Yes, every woman's fantasy, come to pictorial life.  Which explains why women like porn so much; it's the realism of it all.

 

May 8, 2002

Now Anna Kournikova is suing over those topless pics that Penthouse said were of her.

...the tennis star filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against General Media Communications Inc., which owns Penthouse, in U.S. federal court in California, charging the company with defamation, false light invasion of privacy, misappropriation of identity and other violations of her rights under federal and state laws.

False light invasion of privacy occurs when information published about a person is offensive and is published without regard for whether the information is false or would portray them in a false light.

Odd law that last one, eh?

Click for big shot.
Luciano Benetton, the woman in the pics (yes, that's one, to the right), is suing also. It's not clear what sort of case she has, being as they were taken on a public beach in Florida, and if you are in public you are fair game for photographs, as far as I know, as long as they're not poking up your clothing or something like that.

Penthouse has even given up on the game and admitted they're not Anna.  It's somewhat of a mystery what they (Penthouse) were thinking.  They don't especially look like Kournikova, so obviously Penthouse really wanted to believe it was her to convince themselves, or else they just thought they would get away with it, or at least sell enough magazines to be worth the legal problems?

They appear to be wrong in all areas; all of the magazines now in circulation will probably sell, for the collectible value if nothing else.  But there are only 1.2m in circulation now, according to news reports, which I'd assume is far too few to make much of a profit on things.  Especially if they get killed in lawsuits; Benetton is suing them $10m, and Kournikova certainly has a far stronger case to press, and she probably will.  It doesn't appear that she's some sort of herpes-riddled slut like Pamela Anderson, secretly delighted to be nude on the internet.  Anna could probably get $10m from Playboy for a layout if she so desired.  Or sell a movie of herself nude, and make even more.

 

May 15, 2002

More on the topless photos that weren't Anna Kournikova in Penthouse.

A St. Louis jewelry salesman who sold Penthouse Magazine a video of a topless sunbather misidentified as Anna Kournikova testified on Tuesday he mistook the woman for the tennis star because of the diameter of her nipples.

He said that while he had never seen Kournikova at a tournament, he had seen a photo of her on the Internet in which her tennis dress was soaked with sweat, revealing the shape of her nipples. "They were pretty evident ... the diameter matched what we had on film," he said.

The salesman, wiping tears from his eyes, called himself an "idiot" and apologized to the women and Guccione in court.

The photographer appears to be a bit of a screwball.  He's sobbing about it in court, apologizing madly, self-abasing, etc.  Why?  I mean he wasn't feeling guilty about filming topless women and selling the video of them, and he wasn't sorry it was a celebrity, but now he's sorry that it was the wrong celebrity?  I suspect he's just trying to keep Penthouse from suing him in turn.

Anyway, it's an absurd concept, as if nipple-diameter is some sort of exact statistic.  I don't see the FBI scrapping the whole fingerprint and mug shot concept to turn to tit-measurement, though I'm sure a lot of male agents wouldn't object greatly.  I wonder if the guy was talking about the areola, or he really means the actual nipple?  Given that those are pretty much the same diameter on every woman, and they can also increase in size at times...

I saw a few more scans of the photos, and even if it had been Kournikova, the magazine would have been a rip off.  All of the shots are the same, like the example one here.  It's the woman, seen in profile, lying in the sun.  There's not one shot from another angle, none of photographic quality (they are all from a video he shot, and are good quality for vid-caps, but far blurrier than actual photographs), there aren't any close ups, or shots of her body or butt, etc.  I mean you take what you can get with a voyeuristic thrill, but if I'd bought the magazine for this I'd be pissed.

Here's a comparison of them side by side. The woman in the photos does look something like Kournikova, I must admit.  I've never seen either of them in person, nor do I ever plan to do so, but I thought it pretty obvious the first time I saw a censored shot from Penthouse that it wasn't her. She looks to be a lot darker of complexion, and her short brown hair is an obvious problem, since Kournikova has always had long blonde hair since she's become famous. Also the pretend Kournikova has a wider, more rounded nose, and a higher, rounded forehead.  I saw an enlarged shot of the ears, compared, and they were clearly different.  Human ears are almost like fingerprints; no two people have identical shapes of the curves and curls and lobes, though it's hard to tell as grainy as the vidcap shots are.

On the other hand, the jaw is very similar, the eyes and eyebrows are similar, lips are about the same, etc.  At a glance and assuming some time has passed between the shots, it's not impossible to see how they got confused/thought they could get away with it.

In the profile shots they are more similar, but with this more or less straight ahead comparison I think the differences should be obvious. If you'd like to carry out further research on this important subject, you can find about a billion photos of Kournikova with any effort at all to search them out.  And thanks to Yahoo news there are even some more photos of Judith Soltesz-Benetton, the topless sun bather made so famous of late, through no designs of her own.  She hardly looks like herself now, mostly due to the passage of years since the video was taken.  Which brings up another point.

One thing I've not seen mentioned anywhere yet is the timeline.  I heard in initial reports that he shot the movie 7 years ago.  I just checked, and Kournikova's b-day is June 7, 1981.  So she's about to turn 21.  Which means that 7 years ago she was 14 or 15, and it wouldn't be legal to publish topless photos if they were of her, since she'd have been well underage then, and it would be considered child pornography in the US.  Not to mention that she'd have looked quite different at 14 than she does now.  Benetton looked at 21 much like Kournikova does at 21, and at 28 doesn't look much like she did at the time of the pictures.

Funny how Penthouse, in their exhaustive verification process, never considered that.

One last photo I found interesting.  If you think being a celebrity is fun and glamorous and you want to be the center of attention and everything, take a look at this one.  How'd you like that waiting for you every time you left the house?

Click for big shot.

 

On a totally different topic, but still from the same Yahoo article about the whole court hearing, was this info.  Penthouse is fading fast, it seems.

Last week Penthouse, which is owned by financially troubled General Media Communications, acknowledged its mistake and issued a public apology. However both women are pursuing cases against the magazine, whose circulation has dropped to about 650,000 a month from almost 5 million. 

I would guess that Penthouse is being killed by the Internet, and by Playboy.  In other words, Playboy is sort of the PG-rated mag, no one really considers it porno, and it can be legitimately bought for the articles, features, etc.  I've not seen an issue in probably 8 or 10 years, but it's unchanging in format or content.  Penthouse is harder-edged in content and nudity.  They don't show real porno stuff, at least they didn't when I last saw an issue some years ago, but it's far more sexual, with the horrible reader sex fantasy letters and lots of softcore porn style photos.  I would suspect that men buy Playboy as a sort of slightly-more explicit Swimsuit issue, and buy real porno, usually videos, for other needs.  No one gets Penthouse for the articles, and no one is going to waste time on it for wanking, when there's so much more explicit stuff so readily-available these days.  So it's sort of stuck in the middle, not hardcore enough to compete in that huge and hugely-fragmented market, but not respectable enough to be considered classy or acceptable nudity, like Playboy is.

Return to the Articles Index.

 

[an error occurred while processing this directive]