Kournikova — `Cosmetic' change

Much more of a success off the court than on it, Anna Kournikova might be making a permanent move to a life outside tennis. Kournikova, a 22-year-old Russian, told the London Evening Standard recently that she plans to quit tennis early next year and devote herself to becoming an actress and TV awards presenter.

"Acting and presenting are definitely things I enjoy doing," Kournikova, who was in Monte Carlo hosting the World Music Awards, told the newspaper. "I'd love to appear in something like Sex and the City or Friends. I get offered lots of those sorts of jobs, but I've never had time to pursue them because of my tennis."

Kournikova was once ranked as high as eighth in the world without having won a singles title. Her tournament appearances have been limited in recent years because of injuries to her feet and back.

"They say my injury is chronic because it keeps coming back," Kournikova said. "I do not want to go on playing unless I can participate 100 per cent, as I don't like pulling out of tournaments at the last minute." Kournikova said she would make a final decision on her tennis career sometime in January.

"I can still play occasional exhibition games, but I can't cope with the rigorous schedule of major tournaments," she said. "At the end of the day my health is the most important thing I have and I don't want to risk losing that. "I have been playing since I was 5 — that's 17 years of hard training every day. Tennis is my life, and I really don't know what's going to happen, but I will see in January."