Kournikova, Austin, Bryans Play Memphis Doubles Exhibition
"Can we turn that thing off?''
-- Former U.S. Open champion Tracy Austin, referring to the radar device measuring the speed of her serves (about 70-plus mph) during her mixed doubles exhibition match Monday night featuring Anna Kournikova and the Bryan brothers, Bob and Mike, who serve in the 120s. (from The Commercial Appeal)
1) At this rate, the Bryan twins may now spend more time promoting doubles than playing it.
2) Does Anna Kournikova ever go off script? She says almost exactly the same thing in every interview she does. Or perhaps I should blame the journalists for always asking the same obvious questions.
3) How hard did the players have to work to make this match come out 7-6, 7-6? Now that's full entertainment for your exhibition dollar.
From The Commercial Appeal: Anna's altruism
In the mixed doubles exhibition match Monday before the night session, Anna Kournikova and Bob Bryan defeated Tracy Austin and Mike Bryan, Bob's twin, 7-6, 7-6.
Proceeds from the exhibition, which required a separate ticket for admission, will benefit one of three organizations: St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center and the Katrina Relief Fund.
''This is my third time in five years,'' Kournikova said. ''In general, the main reason I keep coming back here is because of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. I've visited the kids before, and it's a wonderful, amazing experience. And it's a great opportunity to be in front of my fans again.''
Kournikova, 24, plays a number of mostly charitable exhibitions annually and has played Team Tennis. She hasn't played on the WTA Tour full-time since 2002, but said Monday she wouldn't rule out returning.
''Who knows if I'll come back,'' she said. ''That's why I would like not to make a retirement announcement. You never know. I would not come back unless I feel 100 percent, whether it's mentally or physically. All those factors have to come together for me to come back. I don't want to come back and play half-effort (tennis).''
While she has appeared as a model in several publications since dropping off the tour, she said she will continue picking up a racket.
''Tennis is a huge part of my life, it has been and always will be,'' Kournikova said. ''But there are obviously other interests I'm pursuing, and there are still a lot of other things that I would like to experience.''