Tour Stars Grace SI Swimsuit Issue
Published February 10, 2009 12:00
ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA - Sports Illustrated has unveiled the 46th edition of its Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, which this year features three of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour's stars - Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova, Russia's Maria Kirilenko and France's Tatiana Golovin - as they join the world's top supermodels in picturesque settings from exotic locations around the globe. The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue is one of the best-selling magazines in the world each year and is a global multi-media extravaganza, with the annual issue last year being read by over 66 million people and generating 364 million page views.
During the five day photo shoot on the secluded beaches of the Dominican Republic, Hantuchova, Kirilenko and Golovin enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase a rare and powerful combination of their beauty and athleticism, as well as a unique side of their personalities, as they posed for visually dynamic photo spreads. While these three athletes made their SI Swimsuit debut in this issue, several other Tour players have previously been featured in the prestigious publication, including Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Anna Kournikova and Steffi Graf.
The stunning and unique photos of all three athletes were shot by Walter Iooss Jr., considered by many to be the leading sports photographer of his generation and best known for the nearly 300 photographs he has produced for Sports Illustrated, including portraits of famous athletes such as Michael Jordan, Cal Ripken Jr. and Ken Griffey Jr.
The unique pictorial essays of the tennis players will be featured on a special section of Sports Illustrated's website (link above), along with 1,500 exclusive photos of other models featured in this year's issue and cover galleries, digital downloads and archives of the past issues. The tennis stars' exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and player diaries will also be featured here on the Tour's site.
"Being a part of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue was a unique experience that gave me a rare and fun opportunity to let the people see me in a different light, away from the tennis court," Hantuchova commented.
Kirilenko added: "I have incredible memories of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit shoot that will stay with me forever. Walter Iooss is so far the best photographer that I've had an opportunity to work with and the shoot and the time spent with the fellow players and the Sports Illustrated crew is very memorable."
"It is such an honor to be a part of the Swimsuit issue and while I have done lots of photo shoots in my career, none of them can compare to the fantastic atmosphere of this shoot and the positive energy of the crew," Golovin said. "It was a fantastic experience that will stay with me for a long time."
"One of the unique strengths of women's professional tennis is that our players are not only amazing athletes on the court, but also interesting and glamorous personalities off the court," stated Larry Scott, Chairman & CEO of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. "It's exciting to see the stars of the Tour again featured in Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit issue, continuing a great tradition for our athletes."
The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit franchise engages tens of millions of consumers through the magazine, SI.com, VOD, mobile and many other multimedia channels. One in three adults aged 18 and over in the United States is expected to read the 2009 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.