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It was only when I started playing well at seven that I went to a professional academy.
I would go to school, and then my parents would take me to the club, and I'd spend the rest of the day there just having fun with the kids." In 1989, at the age of eight, Kournikova began appearing in junior tournaments, and by the following year, was attracting attention from tennis scouts across the world.
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.
At the Miami Open, Kournikova reached her first WTA Tour singles final, before losing to Venus Williams in the final.
Kournikova then reached two consecutive quarterfinals, at Amelia Island and the Italian Open, losing respectively to Lindsay Davenport and Martina Hingis.
By the end of the year, Kournikova was crowned the ITF Junior World Champion U-18 and Junior European Champion U-18.Kournikova returned for the Du Maurier Open and made it to the third round, before losing to Conchita Martínez.At the US Open Kournikova reached the fourth round before losing to Arantxa Sánchez Vicario.She signed a management deal at age ten and went to Bradenton, Florida, to train at Nick Bollettieri's celebrated tennis academy.At 14, she won the European Championships and the Italian Open Junior tournament.