So I was thinking about my next topic for the blog and I saw this commercial online about all the former tennis starts who attended Bolletteiri Tennis Academy (world’s most prestigious tennis training facility). On the list, Anna Kournikova’s name grabbed my attention as one of the most famous players. And I thought “why her? She never won one single title during her entire professional career and yet her name is still being used.”

Kournikova was no doubt one of the most talked about tennis players in the media in the 2000’s. Not for her exceptional skills on the tennis court but her long, blonde hair and physical attractiveness. She was often cited as one of the most beautiful athletes in women’s sport. For this reason it seemed OK for her to perform at the level she did (which never brought her any singles titles) and still had a large group of followers and fans.

Sponsorship and endorsement came easy for Kournikova simply because of her physical attractiveness. She was able to rake in 22 million in the year of 2000 purely on endorsement deals, five times more than Stefanie Graf’s annual salary! And let’s not forget that Graf is one of the best female tennis players in the history of tennis.

Most people (especially men) would say “who cares? She is hot.” Others believe that rewards should be given to those who work hard and achieve the most in their sport, not the ones who just look good.

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