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In addition to her tennis and television work, Kournikova serves as a Global Ambassador for Population Services International's "Five & Alive" program, which addresses health crises facing children under the age of five and their families.
a former Greco-Roman wrestling champion, eventually earned a Ph D and was a professor at the University of Physical Culture and Sport in Moscow.
There at the 1995 Moscow Ladies Open Kournikova already reached her first WTA Tour doubles final.
Partnering with 1995 Wimbledon girls' champion in both singles and doubles Aleksandra Olsza, she lost the title match to Meredith Mc Grath and Larisa Savchenko-Neiland.
Her strong year qualified her for the year-end 1998 WTA Tour Championships, but she lost to Monica Seles in the first round. At the start of the 1999 season, Kournikova advanced to the fourth round in singles before losing to Mary Pierce.
However, with Seles, she won her first WTA doubles title, in Tokyo, beating Mary Joe Fernández and Arantxa Sánchez Vicario in the final. However, Kournikova won her first doubles Grand Slam title, partnering Martina Hingis.
At the German Open, she reached the semi-finals in both singles and doubles, partnering with Larisa Savchenko-Neiland.
At the French Open Kournikova had her best result at this tournament, making it to the fourth round before losing to Jana Novotná.
She was a new trainer for season 12 of the television show The Biggest Loser, replacing Jillian Michaels, but did not return for season 13.
At the US Open, she lost in the second round to the eleventh seed Irina Spîrlea.
Partnering with Likhovtseva, she reached the third round of the women's doubles event.
Kournikova played her last WTA Tour event of 1997 at Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Filderstadt, losing to Amanda Coetzer in the second round of singles, and in the first round of doubles to Lindsay Davenport and Jana Novotná partnering with Likhovtseva. In 1998, Kournikova broke into the WTA's top 20 rankings for the first time, when she was ranked No. At the Australian Open, Kournikova lost in the third round to world No. She also partnered with Larisa Savchenko-Neiland in women's doubles, and they lost to eventual champions Hingis and Mirjana Lučić in the second round.
She broke into the top 50 on 19 May, and was ranked No. Although she lost in the second round of the Paris Open to Anke Huber in singles, Kournikova reached her second doubles WTA Tour final, partnering with Larisa Savchenko-Neiland. Kournikova and Savchenko-Neiland reached their second consecutive final at the Linz Open, losing to Alexandra Fusai and Nathalie Tauziat.