Enrique Iglesias, the boyfriend of Anna Kournikova, was interviewed by SI writer Richard Deitsch and I’ve singled out some parts of the interview. Note that my comments are in italics.
SI: Is there a sport you can beat Anna at?
Iglesias: Anything except tennis and wrestling. Her reflexes are disturbingly good. You throw anything at her, and she catches it.
I didn’t know Anna is so good at wrestling, lucky her!
SI: How much do you think Anna misses tennis?
Iglesias: I don’t know if she misses playing. She has played since she was 4 years old.
SI: Do you ever see a time Anna would try to play full time again?
Iglesias: I hate answering those questions because I feel like it’s her career.
Actually, Anna answered these two questions a month and a half ago saying:
“I miss the actual matches and 7-6 in the third, and playing in front of 20,000 people and the adrenalin rush.”
But she added: “I have other passions now.”
SI: What have you learned about athletes that you didn’t know before you started dating one?
Iglesias: I respect athletes 1,000-times more now. In music you can start whenever, 18 or 19 years old. If you want to be an athlete, you have to start when you are 4 or 5. There is so much dedication, so many hours, mentally and physically. Sometimes your mind wants it so much but your body cannot handle it. Anna took to me the place where she was brought up in Russia and if you see the house she lived in, you can open up your arms and touch it wall to wall. Out of there, she played every single day for eight hours since she was 5 years old. For me, it’s mind-boggling. To me, she is the most amazing person I have ever met.
I agree with Enrique, everyone who has played any sport, or was close to some professional athlete, knows how hard it is to be a successful athlete. You have to see it to believe it. It’s even more difficult mentally than physically.