Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Fitness & Exercise

Font Size

Anna Kournikova, Tennis Player


WebMD Feature

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

PLAYER BIO

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 tournament.

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 German Open.

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 ligament.

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.

Healthy Living Tools

Ditch Those Inches

Set goals, tally calorie intake, track workouts and more, all via WebMD’s free Food & Fitness Planner.

Get Started

Today on WebMD

Wet feet on shower floor tile
Slideshow
Flat Abs
Slideshow
 
Build a Better Butt Slideshow
Slideshow
woman using ice pack
Quiz
 

man exercising
Article
7 most effective exercises
Interactive
 
Man looking at watch before workout
Slideshow
Overweight man sitting on park bench
Video
 

pilates instructor
Slideshow
jogger running among flowering plants
Video
 
woman walking
Article
Taylor Lautner
Article