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7/06/2007 11:38:00 AM
Anna Kournikova's Five Favorite Tennis Players
Anna Kournikova misses watching Andre Agassi play tennis.
Photo by AP
Ten years ago, Anna Kournikova found splendor on the grass. Just 16, she reached the Wimbledon semifinals before losing to eventual champion Martina Hingis. That deep run at her debut Wimbledon (she and Chris Evert are the only woman in the Open tennis era to reach the semifinals at their Wimbledon debut) would be her best singles performance at a major.
Now 26, Kournikova is four years removed from playing fulltime on the WTA Tour, but stays active in tennis by playing exhibitions and making appearances for sponsors. This week she returns to the court for the Sacramento Capitals of World Team Tennis. Just don't expect a return to the pro circuit. "No plans right now," she says. Though Kournikova has not played fulltime since 2003, she follows the sport closely. Hera are Anna's all-time five favorite tennis players to watch:
1. (tie) Monica Seles and Andre Agassi: For me, they are always going to be my two favorite players ever.
3. Kim Clijsters: I loved watching her but as we all know, she stopped playing. She was amazing in the last few years. It always very entertaining to watch her.
4. Rafael Nadal: Just amazing to watch right now.
5. Serena Williams: I always like to watch Serena because there's always drama, like in a good way. She's a complete fighter.
Agree with Anna? As Wimbledon heads toward the finish line, give us your favorite tennis players to watch:
He is known alternately as Agent Zero, the Black President, The East Coast Assassin and The Hibachi, though his actual name is Gilbert Arenas. He is primarily a scoring point guard for the Washington Wizards, although he also moonlights as a blogger, a video gamer, a fashionista and a guy who can perform acrobatic dunks off of trampolines. My favorite bit of Gilbert trivia: According to Esquire magazine, Gilbert once ordered a colon cleaner after seeing it advertised on an infomercial.
Part of Gilbert's charm -- besides his proclivity for doing the unexpected -- is that he constantly believes he is being overlooked. When Gilbert found out he was going to be the cover athlete of NBA Live 08, he broke down in tears. It might not seem like a big deal for a guy whose name is known by millions around the world, but as an avid video gamer, Gilbert saw it as a mark of respect.
Last week in Manhattan, at a party to show off an early build of Live 08, SI.com asked Gilbert for his five favorite video games of all-time. Gilbert selected four games. Hey, he is Gilbert Arenas, after all.
1. Halo -- Gilbert's first choice. He actually sponsors a professional Halo team called Final Boss. Gilbert says he's good only at Halo 1, not Halo 2 or Halo 3 (which isn't even officially out yet).
2. Pacman -- "When I was a kid I'd go down to the Laundromat and play Pacman, on the big old arcade machine. Not really Ms. Pacman, but Pacman." Mr. Pacman? "Yeah."
3. NBA Live 95 -- "My friend got a PlayStation, and then I went out and bought Live. So he owned the PlayStation, but I owned the game. I'd bring it over there to play it, but then take it home with me, too, so he couldn't practice."
4. Contra -- The title of the game was all he said, and he said it with such passion that I couldn't question him further.
What's Gilbert missing out on? Give us your best video games of all time below.
Lang Whitaker is the executive editor of SLAM magazine and writes daily at SLAMonline.com.