At the 1997 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.
They referred to themselves as the "Spice Girls of Tennis".
She was a new trainer for season 12 of the television show The Biggest Loser, replacing Jillian Michaels, but did not return for season 13.
After this tournament, Kournikova's ranking jumped from No. At the 1997 Wimbledon Championships, Kournikova became only the second woman in the open era to reach the semi-finals in her Wimbledon debut, the first being Chris Evert in 1972; she still holds the record for being the youngest Wimbledon semi-finalist in history (15 years of age).
There she lost to eventual champion Martina Hingis.
Partnering with 1995 Wimbledon girls' champion in both singles and doubles Aleksandra Olsza, they lost to Meredith Mc Grath and Larisa Neiland.
In 1996, she started playing under a new coach, Ed Nagel. At the Italian Open, Kournikova lost to Amanda Coetzer in the second round.
Her mother Alla (born 1963) had been a 400-metre runner.
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.
Her six-year tenure with Ed would produce terrific results. However, she reached the semi-finals in the doubles partnering with Elena Likhovtseva, before losing to the sixth seeds Mary Joe Fernández and Patricia Tarabini.
At 15, she made her grand slam debut, when she reached the fourth round of the 1996 US Open, only to be stopped by then-top ranked player Steffi Graf, the eventual champion. At the 1997 French Open, Kournikova made it to the third round before losing to World No. She also reached the third round in doubles with Likhovtseva.