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Kournikova received her first tennis racquet as a New Year gift in 1986 at age 5.Describing her early regimen, she said, "I played two times a week from age six. And it was just for fun; my parents didn't know I was going to play professionally, they just wanted me to do something because I had lots of energy.In addition to her tennis and television work, Kournikova serves as a Global Ambassador for Population Services International's "Five & Alive" program, which addresses health crises facing children under the age of five and their families.a former Greco-Roman wrestling champion, eventually earned a Ph D and was a professor at the University of Physical Culture and Sport in Moscow.She also reached her first Grand Slam doubles semi-finals, losing with Neiland to Lindsay Davenport and Natasha Zvereva.

She was a new trainer for season 12 of the television show The Biggest Loser, replacing Jillian Michaels, but did not return for season 13.

Kournikova signed a management deal at age ten and went to Bradenton, Florida, to train at Nick Bollettieri's celebrated tennis academy.

At 14, she won the European Championships and the Italian Open Junior tournament.

At the 1997 US Open, she lost in the second round to the eleventh seed Irina Spîrlea.

Partnering with Likhovtseva, she reached the third round of the women's doubles event.

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