Andre Agassi certainly ‘Open’ in his new book

Dec 31, 2009

Yes, I am leaving these last two blogs of the year rather late. In fact, if you live in Australia or New Zealand it’s already the year of 2010. So, apologies for cutting it rather fine.

But one of the most controversial pieces of news of the year 2009 needs to be discussed before the year is over: Andre Agassi’s autobiography ‘Open’. The revelations about his father, his hair and his drug taking were rather more than the tennis world expected of a player’s autobiography.

But what were these revelations? One, for example, was his hair piece. Having a full head of hair was obviously a pressure that the star felt heavily. In the French Open final of 1990, he wore an elaborate hair piece to hide his baldness. Instead of concentrating entirely on the match, he claims he was more worried about his wig coming off. Who wouldn’t be? I’m not sure how he concentrated at all with something on my head that could potentially come flying off.

Agassi’s most sensational revelation in the book was his drug-taking. After taking crystal meth, he managed to persuade the Association of Tennis Professionals that he had taken the drugs by accident. He promptly got away with it all. It wasn’t a one off, either. With Gasquet going through hell and back to prove his innocence to an over-zealous and almost dictatorial ITF and WADA, it seemed a particular insult to his plight at the time.

Admitting that Agassi had in fact hated and feared tennis for years brought a more compassionate response; after years of his father’s controlling hand, he couldn’t feel a love for the game even as he rode high on his success in it. With his marriage to Brooke Shields on the rocks, things were culminating in a way that could have ended his career in a rather speedy manner.

The jury is still out on how to react practically to the revelations. Marat Safin believes his titles should be taken away from him; others are more live and let live about the whole thing.

My opinion is that either this will die dead in the water, perceived just as an old tennis player looking back on his glory days and showing us the skeletons in his closet for some entertainment. Or, this could snowball. Agassi will have to make sure he has his defence lined up if this is what indeed happens.

- SophieG

Written by: SophieG

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