The original Anna (with one n) is back

Chat with her online, follow her Twittering, and she might even give you a call

Anna Kournikova and SportsMates, Inc., a sports social network, today announced the relaunch of Kournikova.com, Anna’s official website.

The K-Swiss-sponsored project features Anna’s personal blog (she was in Tijuana recently), videos and photo galleries (including some from her personal collection).

The site also features an About Me section with a list of her current favorites, product recommendations, where she is, and status updates sent from her mobile phone.

“I am so excited to relaunch my new website,” said Kournikova. “I love communicating with my fans and I am looking forward to having a lot more personal interaction with them in the new Ask Anna community section of my site. It’s a great way for me to keep the relationship strong and I hope they enjoy the new site as much as I do!”

She might call you: To celebrate the relaunch of Kournikova.com, lead sponsor K-Swiss is giving fans the chance to win autographed memorabilia and a telephone call from Anna as part of the K-Swiss “Win a Call from AnnaK” Sweepstakes and Contest which begins on May 19, 2008. Click here for more info.

“We are excited to partner with Kournikova.com as Anna is a fantastic brand ambassador for K-Swiss with her tennis background as well as her unique perspective on women’s athletic footwear and apparel,” stated Jennifer Weiderman, Vice President of Marketing for K-Swiss.

Live chats: K-Swiss will be hosting live online chats with Anna for the members of SportsMates. The first will take place on May 31, 2008 at 3 p.m. Eastern.

FYI: Originally launched in 2001, Kournikova.com has consistently ranked as one of the most popular official athlete websites. According to Lycos, Anna was the most searched-for athlete on the Internet in 2007, a title she’s held for the past eight years.

sightings: anna kournikova at the sunrise tourney

Anna Kournikova - BMW Tennis Championships 2008

Anna Kournikova, spotted on the grounds of the BMW Tennis Championships in Sunrise, Fla.

Speaking of Anna, I think the new K-Swiss casual line — the same ones being sold at the pop-up store in Santa Monica — is also available at CO-OP (The Grove). So those who fear the water or anything west of La Cienega can still look fabulous. (I’ve been trying to find pictures of the clothing online (to no avail). I’m going to visit the store soon and let you know if I find anything to upload.)

(photo by sunrisetennis.com)

k-swiss: bondarenkos at indian wells + kournikova at the pop-up store party

The Bondarenko sisters — that’s Alona (the blond) and Katerina (the brunette) — have taken the momentum from their 2008 Australian Open doubles title to make good runs at the Pacific Life Open.

Alona and Katerina Bondarenko - Indian Wells 2008

Alona, who’s featured on the K-Swiss website along with fellow tennis players Tommy Haas, Michaella Krajicek, Black/Huber, and Mardy Fish, wore the Empire Seam Top during her three-set loss to Maria Sharapova in the fourth round.

Katerina lost early in singles and wore this dress with an asymmetrical racerback (how very Ukranian of her).

Alona and Katerina Bondarenko - Indian Wells 2008

The sisters wore the black version during their doubles win over Svetlana Kuznetsova and Amelie Mauresmo. The duo will face Vesnina and Safina in the quarters.

Buy: Empire Seam Top, purple w/ gold hardware, $48; Racerback Dress, black and white, $90.

Browse: Look through the rest of this season’s collection.

Jackie Warner - Anna Kournikova - K-Swiss pop-up store party

Party pics: The K-Swiss pop-up store had its opening party on Thursday, March 13. The celebs on hand: Anna Kournikova, Workout‘s Jackie Warner, and Fred Durst. More photos here.

(singles photo by Getty Images, doubles photos by Antonio Bernal, party photos via omg!)

K-Swiss pops up in Santa Monica

kournikova-kswiss-chopper.jpg

Everything is limited edition these days: Zac Posen mass-market threads for Target Australia, Ludovic Lefebvre‘s Breadbar, Roger Federer‘s top form — so it comes as no surprise to us (but much to our delight) that K-Swiss is setting up a temporary shop at Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade.

The store, the brand’s first retail “endeavor”, will be open to the public from March 14 through April 3, after which it’ll disappear before popping up in New York City. Alongside the already-popular K-Swiss shoes, the store will also feature performance and lifestyle clothes for both men and women.

Of course, Anna Kournikova will be there to baptize the store (if Tommy Haas weren’t commited to Indian Wells, I’m sure he’d be there, too!), and they’ve slated Samantha Ronson to spin.

Deets: K-Swiss Pop-up store, 1244 Third Street, Santa Monica; visit www.k-swiss.com for a listing of events.

(photo from K-Swiss.com)

short balls: jelena’s new website, santoro to break a record, what happened in singapore, etc.

jelena-jankovic-website.jpg

Jelena’s website: Jelena Jankovic finally rejoins the 21st century with the launch of her official website. (via WTB)

So, what happened in Singapore? The Maria Sharapova Live! event has come and gone (see Regentville’s review of the event here), and now Singapore is dealing with its effects. To capitalize on tennis-mania, some folks are planning to bring a tourney to the country by 2009. (via WTB)

Lindsay’s GS sched: Lindsay Davenport, this week competing at the ASB Classic, has committed to play only through the U.S. Open, and has announced that she won’t participate in this year’s French Open. (TNZH)

Santoro to break a record: Frenchman Fabrice Santoro, this week playing at the Qatar Open, will break a record he currently holds with Andre Agassi — that of appearing in 61 Grand Slam tournaments. Santoro will participate in his 62nd at the 2008 Australian Open. FYI, his first Grand Slam appearance was at the 1989 French Open. (CNN.com)

Ladies, take notice: Serena Williams came back from the off-season looking fit and trim. This could spell trouble for anyone else trying to win the Australian Open women’s titles (in both singles AND doubles) this year.

Maria’s Mama: We see father Yuri all the time, but never Momma Yelena. She made a rare appearance next to Maria‘s Christmas tree (at her Manhattan Beach pad?). DTL dug up this photo from Masha’s official website.

Plexicushion gets a thumbs down: Players are speaking out against the newly-installed Plexicushion surface at Melbourne Park. But really, Tennis Australia had no choice but to dump Rebound Ace after 20 years of not-so-good results for that country’s tennis future.

In case you’re keeping track: Spaniard Carlos Moya endorses Rolex. (newindpress.com)

…and Andy Murray makes some more additions to his training camp by signing Miles MacIagan (The Guardian)

…and Xavier Malisse does some charity work in between competing at this week’s Chennai Open. (The Hindu)

Enrique’s gift to Anna? Enrique Iglesias, longtime boyfriend of Anna Kournikova spent Christmas Day in a red thong. (Now)

An Australian Open Court: Open Court will leave her Canadian outpost later this month to cover the Australian Open. We can’t wait!

(photo via www.jj-jelenajankovic.com)

fashion: more than just underwear…

I assure you I am capable of discussing things other than Djokovic‘s chones

Stay tuned for Borg and Fila: I’ll have my hands on pics from the Bjorn Borg spring/summer ’08 collection (that’s underwear AND swimwear) very soon. Also, word about Fila‘s new clothing line (one that’s even better than their Settantatre collection, I’ve been told) should pop up at any time. I’ll let you know when it does.

Kournikova’s next move: First, can we stop talking about Anna Kournikova‘s lack of singles titles already? She’s still an accomplished tennis player with TWO Grand Slam doubles titles under her belt.

Ads: The Russian starlet — who’s currently the tennis face of K-Swiss, poses in these print ads for the SoCal-based sporting goods company. I love the Fila-esque play on red, white, and blue. (via RightFielders)

A new clothing line: Kournikova announced at the Rogers Cup this week (she’s there playing an exhibition) that her K-Swiss yoga/tennis/gym collection — “it will basically be stuff that you can be in the gym in and then go to a coffee shop in” — will drop in 2008. I can’t wait to see all the muffin tops at my local Coffee Bean!!! (via DTL)

Vintage vision: The folks at Nike continue to raid their archives for this season’s looks, and DTL continues to obsess.

My next mission: Former Vogue Hommes International EIC Bruno Danto is hard at work to bring his Sport & Style magazine to New York. The book, currently distributed in France, Dubai, and China, is “a lifestyle title that harmoniously blends fashion with athletics.” If someone sees an issue, please let me know. (via DTL)

Racqonteur’s dirty work: Editrix (and tennis fan) Anna Wintour gives the sport its fair share of ink in the September issue of Vogue. Sister (brother?) publication Men’s Vogue does the same. (Racqonteur)

Speaking of magazines: Portfolio, Condé Nast’s new business mag, profiles François-Henri Pinault aka Salma Hayek’s baby daddy and the newest owner of Puma. Also, as head of the Gucci Group, Pinault rocked the fashion world by booting Tom Ford from Gucci and proved naysayers wrong by growing that brand (along with YSL and Bottega Venetta) even without a celebrity designer.

I don’t know about you, but the Portfolio website reminds me of Monocle‘s.

short balls monday

nike-pro-figurines.jpg

A Roger of superhuman proportions: The Nike Pro figures of Roger Federer, Ronaldino, and Kobe Bryant (all designed by Michael Lau) are on sale. Each set of three will set you back 3,500 euros, but all the proceeds will go to charity. Check out Sold Out to purchase. (via Hypebeast)

Le sigh: Kolya Davydenko crashes out of the first round in Croatia, his third first-round defeat in three weeks. Like Chris and I were saying, if he doesn’t rack up the points now, he’ll be out of the picture by November (since he likely won’t defend Paris)…

A blog to watch: I just ran across commentator Ted Robinson‘s blog at MediaZone. Add it to your bookmarks.

A fresh take: Los Angeles (and semifinal Saturday at the Countrywide Classic) as described to TennisWorld readers by a South Bay resident (and a Trojan). I must defend the geographic placement of UCLA (“located smack-dab in the middle of some of the most expensive real estate in LA”): the university was built even before the ‘hoods got expensive. And really, you should see what our bum situation is like — we can’t ignore grit even if we wanted to (it stares us right in the face). One more thing: it’s not like USC is one with the masses. Their whole campus is gated off, which doesn’t say much for being “connected” to the working poor. That, and all the kids who attend USC live in the Palazzo complex or those 2,500-a-month lofts downtown. /rant

I guess I’m not the only one fired up: One of Tennis.com’s summer interns, Nick McCarvel, laments the loss of tennis on YouTube and wants it back now. He even brings John Mayer into the picture.

Lindsay checks in about her hibernation: Lindsay Davenport‘s return is generating some good buzz. Read up on what she was up to while pregnant. Fun facts: she’s friends with Gwen Stefani, and she won’t put a racquet in son Jagger’s hands. (via TennisWorld)

Enrique on Anna: After months of publicity for charity, K-Swiss, and exhibition matches wherein Anna Kournikova had to answer questions about her boyfriend Enrique Iglesias, the tables have turned: the mole-less songbird talks to CNN/SI’s Richard Dietsch about his thoughts on her career. (via DTL)

SEWTA catches up: You know it’s a slow time for the tour as they finally get around to gloating about Serena and Masha making the Forbes Celebrity 100 list published a month ago. (SEWTA via DTL)

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short balls: haas canoodles, blake dishes, tursunov makes a plea

From the sidelines: Yep, that’s German Tommy Haas at last night’s match between Safin and Bastl at UCLA. Haas isn’t defending his Countrywide Classic title due to a shoulder injury. He’s nursing it with some lovin’ from…Sandy Woelden? …Sara Foster? Who is it? (Thanks for the photo, Chris.)

Glowing shuttlecocks!: While night tennis might have failed, everyone’s a-ravin’ about Blackminton.

Bollietteri’s New York outpost: He’s joining the staff at CityView Racquet Club, the newest addition to NYC’s tennis scene. Now accepting applications, the club will have valet parking, limo service, and a tiny membership — which’ll guarantee you a court when you want one. (via UrbanDaddy NYC)

Tursunov rallies for support: At a tournament overshadowed by the arrival of Becks, Norcal-based Dmitry Tursunov makes a plea to his fellow players: promote the sport any way they can, be a little friendlier with the fans, and do things to keep them coming back.

Revealing the secrets of celebrity: You want to become the next Anna Kournikova? Follow this L.A.-based agent’s instructions.

Tennis non-whites: The New York Times Book Review wrote up James Blake‘s Breaking Back and Charging the Net by Cecil Harris and Larryette Kyle-DeBose. While Blake doesn’t reveal much dirt in his own book — likely because he still needs to show his face on the tour — he makes comments about the racial battles being fought on the courts in Charging the Net. On the brouhaha surrounding his ’01 U.S. Open match against Lleyton Hewitt:

“(Lleyton and I) talked about it in the locker room, and he did apologize. … He said he didn’t mean for it to come out the way it did. … I knew we would both be on the tour for a long time, and I told him that if he said anything like that again, I wouldn’t be so kind.”

(via NYT)

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photos: kournikova's been partying

The original Anna — Anna Kournikova — left her South Beach digs last Thursday to host a benefit for The Nature Conservancy at Ultra in NYC.

She wore a cute white dress to the event. In black, she attended the Boys & Girls Clubs of America gala at the Waldorf on June 6. They honored her with the group’s Champion of Youth Award for her charity work.

And while wearing that little red dress she presented an award at Cedars-Sinai’s 22nd Annual Sports Spectacular at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on June 3.

short balls thursday

Nadal’s made it: A four-page spread in this month’s GQ followed by his very own article in The Onion. To Americans, Rafa Nadal is no longer just that “tennis player with the massive biceps”.

Guillermo Coria sues over suspension: Another esteemed member of the Argentina Drug Suspension Corral is back in the news. Guillermo Coria is accusing Universal Nutrition of contaminating its multivitamin, which Coria was taking, with steroids. Coria is suing for $10 million in lost prize and endorsement money. (via Sporting News)

She’s a tall drink of Russian…water?: Smirnoff’s new Smirnoff Source comes in what looks like a water bottle, but it’s still 3.5 percent alcohol by volume — a godsend to those underage celebrities, I’m sure. Anyway, Anna Kournikova heads to NYC tonight to host a fundraiser sponsored by this new drink to benefit the Nature Conservancy. (via Business Wire)

Dubai, still: Along with acquiring the season-ending Outback Champions Series event, Dubai might also add Barneys New York to its asset portfolio. (via Tennis Served Fresh and NYT)

NYC tennis, good idea: This event will coincide with Wimbledon. (There are two i’s — get it?)

NYC tennis, bad idea: Can someone explain to me how this relates to the sport at all?

If it ain’t broke, then make it better: Line-calling technology Hawkeye makes its ATP debut in the UK. This time, each player gets three line challenges, plus the extra one if the set goes to a tiebreak. (via BBC)

If the British want champions, the LTA should stop sponsoring them: Uhh, what? (via the Guardian)