Kournikova won't be back until mid-August, says agent


ANNA KOURNIKOVA (in pix) will not be back playing regularly on the WTA Tour before the middle of August and may miss the U.S. Open because of a persistent back problem, her agent said.

"She won't play the Canadian Open in Toronto (starting on August 11) but, if she's feeling better, may ask for a wild card into New Haven, which starts the week before the U.S. Open," he added.

Kournikova has a chronic sprain of the lumbar spine, a condition, which is inoperable.

"Anna is unable to play a consistent tour schedule with her back the way it is now and unless there is a marked improvement, her schedule will remain uncertain," he said.

Since injuring her back at the Australian Open in January, Kournikova has only played a handful of tournaments and last competed at a challenger tour event in Charlottesville in mid-May.

The Russian attempted to play a grass court tournament in England ahead of Wimbledon but aggravated her back injury in practice and was advised to take four-to-six weeks off.