The 2021 U.S. Open is currently heading toward the finish line, with the quarterfinals taking place in Flushing, New York this week.
Earlier this year, the 2021 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue was released. This year’s issue had some tennis flavor, with superstar Naomi Osaka appearing on one of the covers. Osaka had a disappointing finish at the U.S. Open this year, though she’ll surely be back in contention in 2022 and beyond.
Several notable tennis stars have posed for the issue over the years.
Russian tennis star Anna Kournikova posed for the issue in 2004.
Kournikova was one of the most-popular tennis players in the world during her peak. She made the semifinals at Wimbledon in 1997 and the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in 2001. Kournikova never made a really deep run at the U.S. Open, making it to the fourth round in 1996 and ’98.
The tennis star had a big following off the court, though. She appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 2000.
Kournikova has been retired for a while, though she continues to have a big presence on social media, with more than 2 million followers on Instagram.
Kournikova is one of several notable athletes to pose for the issue. Alex Morgan, Genie Bouchard, Lindsey Vonn, Paige Spiranac, Danica Patrick and Anastasia Ashley, among others, have all appeared in the magazine.
Photos from Kournikova’s 2004 photoshoot can be seen here.