SI Vault
July 10, 2000
Anna Kournikova is the Britney Spears of tennis: all hype and no substance.—Al Reid, Houston
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July 10, 2000


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Anna Kournikova is the Britney Spears of tennis: all hype and no substance.
—Al Reid, Houston

Just Another Pretty Face
Tennis is boring, and women's tennis is even worse ( Anna Kournikova, June 5). The only thing that makes the sport remotely bearable is Anna Kournikova—not because of her tennis but because of her looks.
Wayne Kreger, Sherman Oaks, Calif.

Frank Deford's article is unmitigated fluff. Why he would choose an overblown subject like Kournikova is beyond me. I choose to root for steely winner Martina Hingis every time.
Robert Martinez, Tucson

Deford's article was a treat because of sentences such as, "On the court she is like a trim sloop, skimming across the surface, her long signature pigtail flying about like a torn spinnaker in the wind." That's one of the most illustrative word images I've ever read.
Doug Kohl, Akron

What a waste of time, talent and space. Having Frank Deford write about Kournikova is like Joyce Carol Oates penning ad copy for Fluffernutter.
Gary Stewart, Ithaca, N. Y.

Many men in their mid-20s, like myself, spent their childhood dreaming of becoming American baseball players. Who would have guessed that as adults we would all be dreaming we were Russian hockey players?
Bob Heaning, Edison, N.J.

I like my sports like everybody else, but here's hoping Anna breaks Michael Jordan's record for SI covers!
Joseph N. Abraham, Little Rock

The Lakers dig in their heels against the Blazers. The Knicks come back from a two-games-to-none deficit at the Garden. The Devils eliminate the Flyers. The Avalanche falls to the Stars. Maurice Richard goes on to a place of honor at the big Forum in the Sky. Pedro Martinez chases a shadow that Bob Gibson has cast since 1968. And Anna Kournikova—a teenager who has never won a singles title in a WTA tournament—graces the cover of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. What happened?
Gary M. Liotta, Santa Monica, Calif.

I know you will have your winners: NBA playoffs, blah, blah. NHL playoffs, blah, blah. But as long as those stories are on the inside, 52 weeks of Anna covers would be fine by me!
John Engh, West Palm Beach, Fla.

Give that Man a Hand
That was a well-deserved thank you note Rick Reilly wrote to Shaquille O'Neal (THE LIFE OF REILLY, June 5). I wish he had left it simply as a tribute to Shaq, however, and omitted the unnecessary potshots at Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Melissa Phillips, Clarksburg, W.Va.

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