Anna Had Game

Remembering a Different Kournikova

The game of women's tennis has always been filled with sad stories, from Suzanne Lenglen's to Mo Connolly's to Monica Seles's. And while no one's going to mistake Anna Kourni-kova for Anna Karenina, this is still a story with no happy ending in sight. The game's marketers will anoint a New Anna—maybe Maria Sharapova, maybe Daniela Hantuchova, maybe Ashley Harkleroad, or even Marat Safin's little sister, Dinara Safina—and the on-court flesh peddling will continue uninterrupted. But what's next for Original Anna? Maybe she can get a game-show gig, reviving the old John McEnroe vehicle The Chair ("Our male contestant tries to keep his blood pressure within the target range while tennis's sexiest star cavorts around the stage in a sports bra . . . "). Maybe she'll be a guest judge on American Idol. Or maybe there'll be reality TV—an ESPN2 spin à la Anna Nicole Smith. Or perhaps she'll just marry Prince William. But whatever the future holds for Kournikova, remember that beneath that signature model sports bra beats the heart of an athlete asking, "What if?"

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