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Friday, April 26
Agent says Kournikova never entered tourney

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- For a player on a five-match losing streak and still looking for her first tournament championship, Anna Kournikova manages to makes plenty of news on the tennis circuit.

Agent David Schwab denied Friday that the 20-year-old Russian player had withdrawn from upcoming tournaments in Hamburg and Berlin or that she had posed nude for Penthouse magazine.

"She never was entered, so she never withdrew," Schwab said of the German tournaments. "You can't withdraw if you are not entered."

Walter Knapper, tournament director of the Hamburg event, which starts on Tuesday, said Kournikova had requested a wild-card invitation and had been granted one last month.

"That made her part of our main draw and left us one less wild card for a German player," he said in a telephone interview from Hamburg. "That is not an offer to play. It is a guarantee. There is a big difference."

Schwab didn't dispute Knapper's explanation but said it didn't mean Kournikova was playing. "There is a difference between asking for a wild card and entering the tournament," he said.

Kournikova will play in Bol, Croatia, next week instead of Hamburg, and in Warsaw instead of Berlin.

As for a 10-page layout in the June edition of Penthouse magazine, complete with topless pictures, Schwab denied the shots were of his client.

"The magazine has committed numerous violations of Miss Kournikova's rights, including portraying her in a false light," Schwab said. "We will take all appropriate actions to protect our client's name, rights and image."

Repeated calls to Penthouse were not returned.

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