Anna Kournikova, Tennis Player
NAME: Anna Kournikova
SPORT: Tennis, Women's Tennis Association (WTA)
INJURY: Damaged ankle ligament
OTHER ATHLETES AFFECTED
Basketball: Derrick Coleman, Charlotte Hornets; Kelvin Cato, Houston
Rockets; Eric Murdock and Brian Skinner, Los Angeles Clippers; Baseball: Todd
Dunwoody, Kansas City Royals; Phil Nevin, San Diego Padres; Brian Jordan and
Reggie Sanders, Atlanta Braves; Hockey: J.J. Daigneault, Phoenix Coyotes; Pavel
Trnka, Anaheim Mighty Ducks
Born in Russia and now living in Miami, Anna Kournikova, who will be 19 in
June, turned pro in October 1995. Although she has won five WTA Tour doubles
titles -- including one Grand Slam title -- she has never won a WTA Singles
In 1997, she became the second woman in the Open Era (which started in 1968)
to reach the Wimbledon semifinals in her career debut in the tournament. In
just her second year on the Tour, she defeated three Top 10 players in 1997
(No. 5 Iva Majoli, No. 6 Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, and No. 10 Anke Huber).
Kournikova won her first WTA Tour professional title in 1998 at the Princess
Cup in Tokyo, winning the doubles crown with Monica Seles. She also became the
ninth-youngest player in the Open Era to defeat a reigning world No. 1 before
her 17th birthday, upsetting Martina Hingis in the quarterfinals at the 1998
Kournikova won her first Grand Slam title at the 1999 Australian Open,
winning the doubles title with first-time partner Hingis by upsetting the first
and second seeds.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Trailing 4-5 in the final set of her nearly 2 1/2-hour match at the German
Open, Kournikova took a backhand swing and fell to the ground, grabbing her
ankle. She sat in a corner of the court and was treated for several minutes.
She got up and resumed play, but opponent Gala Leon Garcia closed out the match
on the next point. During the match, Kournikova twice fell onto the court with
leg injuries. She also was treated earlier for arm stiffness after she warded
off Gala Leon Garcia's first match point at 30-40.
After the match, she was diagnosed as suffering from a damaged left ankle
WHAT'S INVOLVED IN DAMAGED ANKLE LIGAMENTS?
The ankle bone (talus) and the ends of the two lower leg bones (tibia and
fibula) form the ankle joint, which is stabilized and supported by three groups
of ligaments. Muscles and tendons move the foot and ankle.
According to the Rothman Institute, the ankle is the most common area for
injury in the body. It has been estimated that 15% of all sports injuries
involve the ligaments, bones, and tendons of the ankle.
During sports-related ankle injuries, the foot is likely to turn inward
(ankle inversion) from a fall, tackle, or jump. This stretches or tears
ligaments, resulting in an ankle sprain. The outside (lateral side) of the
ankle is injured 90% of the time when the ankle rolls over; this is considered
an inversion sprain.