She was, and still is, one of the most popular players in the history of tennis, and on this very day 16 years ago Anna Kournikova made tennis history - what did she do?
WTA Staff

NEW YORK, NY, USA - She was, and still is, one of the most popular players in tennis history, and on this day 17 years ago, Anna Kournikova made tennis history by rising to World No.1 in doubles.

Her singles credentials were excellent. She's most famous for reaching the Wimbledon semifinals as a 16-year-old in 1997, but she also scored 16 Top 10 wins, including four in four days at Miami in 1998, and made it as high as No.8 herself. She reached four WTA finals, including three Premier finals.

But it was in doubles where she shone the brightest, winning two Grand Slam titles and two WTA Finals, all with Martina Hingis, and on Monday, November 22, 1999, after winning the WTA Finals at Madison Square Garden alongside the Swiss, she shot from No.4 to No.1 in the world in doubles.

She's the first and so far only Russian, male or female, to reach World No.1 in doubles.

Four other Russians have reached No.1 in singles - Yevgeny Kafelnikov (No.1 on the ATP World Tour on May 3, 1999), Marat Safin (No.1 on the ATP World Tour on November 20, 2000), Maria Sharapova (No.1 on the WTA on August 22, 2005) and Dinara Safina (No.1 on the WTA on April 20, 2009).


After a stellar junior career, it didn't take long for Kournikova to break through in the pros - she made it all the way to the semifinals of Wimbledon as a 16-year-old in 1997, falling to Martina Hingis.

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Another one of her biggest breakthrough tournaments was Miami in 1998, where she beat four Top 10 players in four days - Monica Seles, Conchita Martínez, Lindsay Davenport and Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario - en route to the biggest final of her career. She fell in three sets to fellow teen Venus Williams.

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And her doubles success was historic - she won two Australian Open titles and two WTA Finals titles alongside Hingis, and on November 22, 1999, she rose to No.1 in the world in the team discipline.

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All the while she was one of the most popular players in the sport, signing autograph after autograph after every match and making numerous appearances - and meeting some exotic new friends...

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Kournikova hasn't played an official match since 2003 but continues to stay in the tennis world through exhibitions and charity matches. Follow along with the Russian on her official Facebook page.

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Here are a few throwbacks to Monday, November 22, 1999:
No.1 song on Billboard Hot 100 singles: Smooth by Santana & Rob Thomas
No.1 album on Billboard 200 albums: The Battle Of Los Angeles by Rage Against The Machine
No.1 movie at US Box Office: The World Is Not Enough starring Pierce Brosnan
No.1 men's tennis player: Andre Agassi
No.1 women's tennis player: Martina Hingis