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Monday, 24 June, 2002, 20:22 GMT 21:22 UK
Kournikova crumbles on day one
Anna Kournikova
Anna Kournikova has won three of her last 15 matches

Anna Kournikova suffered a miserable day as Wimbledon got under way, with a first-round defeat followed by a mauling at the hands of the press.

On a day when leading lights Jennifer Capriati and Serena Williams swept into the second round with ease, arguably the biggest draw in the women's game crashed out.


The Russian was, as ever, accompanied by a vast number of photographers as she made her entrance on Court two.


There's no two Annas, there's one Anna
Anna Kournikova
But despite putting up a brave fight, she was soon on her way out of the singles with a 6-1 4-6 6-4 defeat to compatriot Tatiana Panova.

The fact that Kournikova is ranked a lowly 55 in the world after just three wins in 15 matches, while Panova is the 21st seed, did not make the result easier to beat for the fans' favourite.

And her frustration was plain to see afterwards when the media suggested her poor form might be a result of too many commitments, commercial and otherwise, off court.

"I'm not involved in a lot of that stuff," said Kournikova. "I do 99% less of what everybody else says I do.

Tatiana Panova
Tatiana Panova came through in three sets
"There have just been many changes in general in my life in the last year and I was coming back from injury.

"Obviously if I lose a tennis match it's not the end of the world but I am committed to it. It is the most important thing for me right now.

"If I wasn't 100% committed to playing I wouldn't be here, I would just go and do other things."

A former world number eight, Kournikova has failed to reach anywhere near that level since suffering several injuries last year.

But she insists that a return to form will come.

"I had time to think last year when I wasn't playing and I had time to grow up. I am still learning, only I am doing it in front of everybody," she said.

"I don't have a career off court. There's no two Annas, there's one Anna."

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