Tennis Reacts to Agassi Drug Confession
by Sean Randall | October 30th, 2009, 7:39 pm
  • 93 Comments

I’m going to use this space to post and collect player reactions on Andre Agassi’s crystal meth confession. I will update as more players weigh in on the issue. Agassi’s book, “Open”, will be released on November 9.

Andy Roddick: “andre is and always will be my idol. i will judge him on how he’s treated me, and how he has changed the world for better … and to be fair when andre wrote the reported letter, he was well outside the top 100 and widely viewed as on the way out (link)”

Amer Delic: “In re to Agassi: if that’s the worst he has done than, it doesn’t take anything away from his career. … Continued: He had to have the balls to come out with the truth when there was no reason other than his guilty conscience.”

Roger Federer: “It was a shock when I heard the news. … I am disappointed and I hope there are no more such cases in future. Our sport must stay clean.” (the australian)

Rafael Nadal: “Cheaters must be punished and if Agassi was a cheater during his career, he should have been punished. … To me it seems terrible. Why is he saying this now that he has retired? … It’s a way of damaging the sport that makes no sense. I believe our sport is clean and I am the first one that wants that.” (the australian)

Martina Navratilova: “It’s shocking … It’s not as much shock that he did it as shock he lied about it and didn’t own up to it. He’s up there with Roger Clemens, as far as I’m concerned. Andre lied and got away with it. You can’t correct that now. Do you take away a title he wouldn’t have won if he had been suspended? He beat some people when he should have been suspended.” (the australian)

Boris Becker: “I’m the last person to throw stones, as there have been some difficult times in my own life, but to hear that he took crystal meth, that certainly puts a whole new light on Andre and it’s not a beautiful light. … Andre didn’t just take drugs, he also tested positive for drugs and then got away with it, and that’s not good at all for tennis, especially for the governing bodies. People are going to be thinking, ‘How could this happen? How could he get away with this?’ If it had been made public in 1997 that Andre was using drugs, his career, and his life, would have been very different. He wouldn’t be where he is today. Maybe his career would not have survived if everyone knew that he had taken drugs, and if he was banned from the tour for a while. But no one knew until now, and it was after he took crystal meth that he played some of the best tennis of his life. He won many grand slams after that.” (daily telegraph)

Marat Safin: “One should know how to be silent, but if you are so smart you should have spoken up earlier. … You will never live to see such revelations from me. How they will escape this situation — this is the ATP’s and Agassi’s problem.” (foxsports/AP)

Serena Williams: “I don’t even know what crystal meth is, so, you know, that’s what my reaction to it is.”

Jelena Jankovic: “You know, I don’t want to comment on that because, you know, I’m more of — I take it more — I appreciate fair play and players giving their effort, how good they can be, and being clean. You can be hundred in the world, but as long as you’re clean, I appreciate that.”

Nick Bollettieri: “I don’t condone what he did. I’ve made mistakes too, but I’ve done more good than bad. … Let’s look at what Andre has done; he funds a school for 400 kids from the inner-city. I know underneath he’s a hell of guy. … Whether you’re No1 or 1000 there can’t be an exception. If top players are found to be using drugs then they should be banned. That will send a message, stronger than any written message, ‘we will not tolerate drugs’.” (the australian)

Brad Gilbert: “Maybe it was me being naïve, but I had no clue. … I did a really good job of sticking to the tennis court. If Andre asked for something outside it, I would give it. I just wouldn’t ask him about it or volunteer something I wouldn’t have knowledge about. Because we hung out a ton, but that doesn’t mean you ask things that are personal.” (ny times)

Andy Murray:  “I judge him as a tennis player; he was great, one of the best of all time. No one wants drugs in sport but everyone makes mistakes. … Sometimes things like that happen. People get away with it sometimes but I don’t think drugs in tennis is a big problem like it is in other sports. .. I loved Andre, met him numerous times. He was unbelievably nice to me. I practised with him quite a lot. … I guess it’s something he has to deal with him himself. He’s entitled to say whatever he wants and I wish him the best.”  (bbc)

Marat Safin: “I’m not defending the ATP, but what he said put it in a delicate position. The ATP allowed him to win a lot of tournaments, a lot of money. It kept his secret. Why does he need to be so cruel with it? … If he is as fair play as he says he is, he has to go to the end. You know, the ATP has a bank account and he can give the money back if he wants.” (ap)

Pete Sampras: “I didn’t even know what to say. I respect him, he’s a friend of mine. He was my main rival in the ‘90s and would I tell him flat out he made a mistake, absolutely. I’d say, ‘What were you thinking?’ and to lie about it. But when I look at Andre in his mid-twenties to his late-twenties, he was like a different guy.” (access hollywood/KTBC-TV/FOX 7)

You can click on the player names for the full source and more.


Also Check Out:
Andre Agassi Book On Sale Now
Agassi in New Book Reveals He Took Crystal Meth
On Look, Rafael Nadal Is Now Announcing When He’s Being Drug Tested
Agassi: Drug User, Tennis Hater
Andy Murray Got Drug Tested, Then Met Prince William [Video]

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93 Comments for Tennis Reacts to Agassi Drug Confession

Voicemale1 Says:

Here’s the Nadal quote according to AP:

Rafael Nadal: “If the ATP covered for Agassi then I think that’s terrible… The only thing I can say is that if they covered at that moment for the player and punished others for doing the same kind of thing then that would seem to me to be a lack of respect for all sportsmen… Now that he is retired [he] comes out and says this — it’s a senseless way of damaging the sport.”

I haven’t seen the quote you attributed to him Sean.


sensationalsafin Says:

Sean, why don’t you include Roddick’s full quote, it’s a lot more interesting that way.

So is Becker saying the crystal meth was the key to Agassi winning more slams?

Is Bollitteri saying Agassi should’ve been BANNED as opposed to SUSPENDED? But Agassi’s still done more good than bad? I don’t get it.

To Nadal, Agassi didn’t cheat.

It looks like a lot of the players are losing respect for the guy but I feel like it’s going a bit far. Taking drugs is awful. Getting away with it is awful. But to get away with it, he needed help from the ATP. It’s not entirely his fault. How many people wouldn’t have done the same in his position? Lose everything or tell a plausible lie? Maybe my morals aren’t sound enough but cmon, self preservation people. Are the players judging him on his lies or his drug use? Both are bad, but both are personal choices. Federer, Nadal, Navratilova, Becker, these people aren’t saints. Especially stupid Navratilova, these guys need to come down a notch. Overall, I think Becker is pretty much spot on, but it seems like he wishes that Agassi hadn’t gotten his career back on track.

Federer doesn’t say much except for that he hopes the sport stays clean. I’m sure Federer, like Roddick, is very saddened by this because he also looked up to and respected Agassi a whole lot. I totally get that it’s hard for him to look at Agassi the same knowing he did something as bad as crystal meth. For Federer, the lie is something the ATP needs to take care of because so much of it is their fault. This should never have happened in the first place and should never happen again.

Gotta love Safin. Like I said, he’s been around plenty of shit and we don’t know the eight of it. We still don’t know who or why he got into a fight with in the beginning of this year.

This is a such an odd scenario. Andre Agassi, one of the all time greats, career golden slam, former world number 1, 8 slams, incredibly successful school in Vegas, charities, ambassador of tennis, etc, does crystal meth for about a year during his illustrious tennis career, lies about it, gets away with it, gets his entire life together, continues to do great things, reveals it in a questionable manner. Unreal.


Sean Randall Says:

Voicemale1, you can click the link and it will take you to the source where I found Rafa’s quote. I’m sure he said it in Spanish so some will get lost in translation.

ss, updated. Sounds like Nick is “on the fence”. I’m sure his former coaches like Gilbert and Cahill will won’t go against Andre.

I look forward to hearing from Johnny Mac and Sampras who I’m sure will be weighing in on this issue shortly. (They must have reporters stalking them!)

And as you say, this is such an incredible story. A legend in his field who puts his career/life all that he’s accomplished on the line by admitting he did drugs. I’m sure there’s a parallel story somewhere, I just can’t think of one.


sensationalsafin Says:

Coaches, players, friends, family, how ARE they supposed to react? This is Andre Agassi. He’s a genuinely great guy. He’ll be the first to condemn his actions.

Does anyone else wondering how on earth this is the first time we’re hearing about this? Agassi was married to Shields and always having problems with tabloids. How the **** did they miss this for a YEAR???


Sean Randall Says:

ss, I guess we’ll have to wait and find out what the reaction will be.

Or maybe there’s more in the book on this topic.

What amazing is there are four undeniably bads parts to this story.
1) Agassi used meth for a year – BAD!
2) Agassi lied about to avoid suspension – BAD!
3) Drug officials believed Agassi’s tale – BAD!
4) Agassi waited until he got paid before confession his drug problem – LOOKS REAL BAD!

Maybe all the good he’s done with his school, his charity, etc., in the last 10 years was in some ways a sort of cushion for fall he’s taken or going to take. Maybe he knew in his mind back then that this day would come and he knew when it did he would need a lot of good will to get through it. But does he have enough stored up? Does he care? Was that ever even a thought? Lot’s of questions.

Maybe we’ll get some answers in the book. He’ll sure sell a lot of them but it’s a hell of a way to get those sales.


jane Says:

“Like McEnroe, Agassi has now suggested that he consumed Class A drugs in an autobiography that seems likely to become a bestseller. Like McEnroe, he suggests that he fundamentally disliked tennis from an early age. Like McEnroe, his reputation is likely to survive relatively unbesmirched.”

– source –

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/atptour/6454831/Andre-Agassi-has-been-a-very-bad-boy—but-can-we-let-him-off.html


jane Says:

Venus Williams: “I’m sure his book will sell. But I can’t say anything about Andre Agassi’s life.”

Mary Joe Fernandez: “It takes a lot of guts and courage to come out and say something that nobody would have really known about. Maybe people can learn from it and not make the same mistakes.”

– source –

http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/blog/busted_racquet/post/Tennis-stars-react-to-Agassi-admission-and-Mart?urn=ten,199336


Kimmi Says:

LOL, Thanks for the link jane. The hair story is funny though. This book is getting better and better everytime I read more stories behind it.

I am with Venus, he will sell this book…big time.


sensationalsafin Says:

I read McEnroe’s book, Sampras’s book, Blake’s book, and the book about Federer. Would I have gotten Agassi’s book if he had never touched a drug in his life? Hell yeah.

I mentioned McEnroe smoking pot in an earlier post. I like how people totally ignored it since he never lied to the ATP. So doing the drug is the least bad part? Sure, I’ll take it. But did the ATP (was it even the ATP?) test the players for drugs, PE or otherwise? I guess not, which means he was never given the opportunity to lie about it. Would he have lied? Maybe, maybe not. But like I said, self preservation. Did Agassi do all that good just so that people wouldn’t be as mad about him doing crystal meth? No way. What a ridiculously unnecessarily elaborate plan. Does he have enough stored up? F*** yeah.


jane Says:

“I spoke with Mark Miles, the ATP’s CEO at the time, and it bears mention that the book seems to be a bit sloppy on the procedure. When a player tested positive, the issue was put before an independent panel, made up of former federal judges and the like — not former players or ATP execs or anything like that. Inasmuch as Agassi was exonerated, it was by the panel not the ATP itself.
The drug testing and policy has since been revamped so that everything is handled by an independent WADA. Both practically and procedurally this makes sense. Still, the notion that “the ATP swept Agassi’s positive test under the rug” is wrong-headed.”

–source–

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/jon_wertheim/10/30/andre.agassi/#ixzz0VTMS39Ho


jane Says:

Last one, promise:

Peter Bodo: “I found Agassi’s confession pitch-perfect, and I’m not enough of a cynic to doubt the authenticity of that voice. Agassi didn’t throw the incident out there and then run away from it; it’s pretty clear that the first line of meth sent him into a spiral that lasted for a significant period. But he didn’t work that time in his life for all the drama and pathos it must have contained. That would have been cheap.”

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=4608557&name=bodo_peter


i am it Says:

Sean,
aside from the lie, which I never condone, if there is anything “bad,” it is joining the chorus like an unthinking being. What is bad is accepting and echoing gullibly what your “society” is chanting. The failure to interrogate what you hear is bad. The failure to come up with an alternative explanation and interpretation is mockery of human intellect. And that’s bad.

there is always this other side, which is often overlooked and overlooked strategically so. It is always difficult and intellectually challenging to speak from this other side, even to acknowledge it takes courage. I wish it was not missing from your writing. I wish both sides were duly acknowledged. I am not talking about pro and anti-Agassi sides. I am talking about the two sides of the larger picture.

this other side says: It is bad to speak in favor of puritanical society and its institutional aggression. this other side says the doping law that includes non-PEDs is an incursion into the “other” societies. this other side doubts the motive of the dope testing institutions with regard to its expansion.

in the history of human civilization, it’s been too easy to parrot along with the herd as well as too comforting to submit and resign your conscience and cognitive faculty to impuissance.

the “socially approved” that you mention in your response in the other thread fails to parse which society you are talking about. “Society” is a pretty loaded term. There are too many societies. The same “society” that you refer to approved of too many “bad things” in the past, including wars, slave trade, Jim Crow laws, miscegenation, (the original draft of the US Constitution that calls the natives “barbarians”), even meth was medicine until early ’80s, and until a few years back, it was still a medicine in certain dosage and in certain combination.

the issue is more than petty Agassi and his “drug” use.

why are meth and other non-PEDs included in the banned drug category in the 1st place, under the pretext of keeping tennis clean? Is it really keeping tennis clean or is it power/territorial expansion?

you did not respond to the legality of law itself and its ever expanding empire. Who is going to judge if the law is legal? The powerful, the puritanical institutions?

it is a lot easier to call something “bad,” which all the puritanical institutions have been calling it bad for ages, in one or another form, by taking turn.

all you do is repeat the word “bad” in your first post (which almost takes a forgiving path but withholds), second post in compilation of a series of quotes to reinforce your belief (except Roddick’s and a couple others who refrain from engaging), and in your response to SS, but louder in the last, instead of questioning how, why, and to whom, from which angle.

Where is the other side and where is the interrogation? which would have provided the necessary conflict in the drama.

Ohh, i get it: you are merely reporting !

i will be better served unresponded. i rest my case on this issue.


jane Says:

i am it – so true hey? It’s so easy to judge. To come down on one side or the other. To weigh in on the side of law or the side of the ATP or the side of truth-telling. It’s interesting to see the lists of people weighing in, those who try to remain neutral, those who take sides, and which side, and to what extent.

But more interesting are the underlying issues – drug testing, autobiography writing, who makes and who enforces the drug laws, in tennis or elsewhere. It does seem to open a whole can of worms.

One article I read earlier said that the best thing to come out of this may be that no athlete “excuses” when testing positive will ever be trusted again! Phew! Intense, to say the least.


Andrew Miller Says:

I liked Safin’s quote. I do think it was all bad for Agassi, and maybe he hated tennis most of the time. All of that said: I am an Agassi fan. He played pretty poorly on the meth and essentially fell of the face of the planet. I think he would have arrived at a similar point after rehab from the crystal meth. If Capriati could pull three slams after being on the wrong end of 20 for a WTA player and from the edge of oblivion, the vastly more talented and committed Andre Agassi would have also gotten his share of the biggest titles and probably even more, far sooner. Likely one of the things that pulled him into the problem was physical pain – not of the tennis-playing type, but of the condition he was both with. A person in physical pain, compounded with emotional pain (from the destructive family relationships) just put him in damning situations. Agassi is lucky to be alive. So are we. He is a tarnished champion, but a great one nonetheless.


Andrew Miller Says:

Martina Navratilova is one of the more punitive critics out there – because of what she’s been through she lets no one of the hook. That’s fine but it’s graceless. McEnroe has no right to criticize Agassi either (he has not from what I can tell). Sampras certainly benefitted from Agassi’s lack of love for the sport – heck Sampras should THANK Agassi for being less committted than he could have been.


sensationalsafin Says:

Interesting little fact here. From their first match until they were heading into the 95 USO final, Sampras and Agassi were 8-8. From the final until the end of 99, Sampras was 9-3. After the turn of the century, they were 3-3.

I can’t see McEnroe criticizing Agassi to the extent of a lot of the other players. He can relate to Agassi a lot more than most.

Navratilova went through completely different things in her life. Not that they were easy but they were different. She should at least understand what it’s like to lose motivation. One thing for her was that she was so great that the records really motivated her (winning the most Wimbledons, for example). Agassi wasn’t as driven. Not everyone can be.


sar Says:

“One should know how to be silent, but if you are so smart you should have spoken up earlier,” Safin said of Agassi after reaching the quarterfinals at the St. Petersburg Open on Thursday.

Perfect!


i am it Says:

since we have taken too many things for granted, i have one more thing to add, you can call it garbage or whatever, or it may even look like going against someone, but that is not the case. i am just trying to stay true to the spirit of questioning.

it is about this “first one” who wants our sport to be absolutely clean.

it is about the time when the first one vouched for Gasquet when his case was under review by the ATP tribunal.

how could “the first one” be so certain and vouch for Gasquet that he could not have taken any substance? why would the first one try to influence, to whatever degree, from his capacity, through a public statement, while the case was being reviewed?

remember after the ATP tribunal’s decision to let go Gasquet citing the amount of coke found and other mitigating circumstances, WADA and ITF have decided to keep the case open, and they are still reviewing it further.

what happens if it turns out contrary to “the first” one’s belief? even if it turns out that Gasquet is clean, why would the first one gamble?

in the aftermath of the Agassi debacle, i believe WADA and ITF will not be merciful.

in the Gasquet case, why did not “the first one” scream his long out, “Cheater, cheater must be punished?” why did he, instead, say, “I am pretty sure he cannot have done it”? what is the motive? to regain the lost French crowd at RG? what else? why is this self-assumed heroic claim that he is the first one who wants it clean and that cheater must be punished? why is this contradiction or double standard, one for Agassi, and the other for Gasquet?

the claim “the first one” made that he will be the first one to keep our sport clean will likely face close scrutiny, despite the first one will be the last one to do drug ever.


sensationalsafin Says:

Nadal has been ticked about a lot of things this year.


Sean Randall Says:

I’ve updated the post with Brad Gilbert’s views.


sensationalsafin Says:

Good shit from Gilbert.


i am it Says:

thanks, Sean, for the Gilbert NYT article. it was worth reading.

i also liked another NYT article, which highlights ATP’s role then and now:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/29/sports/tennis/29tennis.html?pagewanted=1&ref=tennis


Samprazzz Says:

Richard Gasquet can’t be very happy right now…


Samprazzz Says:

Professional athletes are human beings. Just because they have lots of money, doesn’t mean they’re happy, or that their personal lives aren’t screwed up. Agassi took Meth because he was screwed up – and wanted to get high- not because he wanted to win a slam.
If Agassi had become an alcoholic, I guess that would have been okay thought right? Because alcohol is not a banned substance, but Meth is. What about Boris Becker and his sleeping pills??? He admitted in his book that he took them the night before grand slam matches. Those are alot more ‘performance enhancing’ than meth: a great night’s sleep is going to help alot more than a pill that makes you pick at your face uncontrollably.

The whole thing is total hypocrisy. How about a double-expresso shot before a match- performance enhancing??? Caffeine is socially acceptable. Meth is not. Nor should it be.

For the Europeans who seem so judgemental: what about Borg’s post-tennis alleged cocaine abuse?
How about Mats Wilander getting suspended for 3 months in 1995 for cocaine positive test?

Agassi made a huge error in judgement by coming out with this revelation. It’s called a ‘private life’ for a reason. Why not just go to Times Square in NY, and take a dump in public? Leads me to believe that he’s still somewhat messed up.


margot Says:

i am it: loked your posts v. much. You are so right to introduce political slant. Here in UK, a scientific adviser to the Government has just been sacked cos he came out and said cannabis is less harmful than alcohol and nicotine. Not a point of view this Gov. will tolerate and, besides, they get a huge amount of dosh from taxing these two. Without doubt societies defign legal/illegal and these definitions change over time and place.
As for me, if Agassi was in such a bad state that he needed drugs then I have to feel sorry for him, no it’s the lie I’m afraid. Again society, yes I know it’s a big word, only works if we share common values and, I would suggest truthing is one of them.
Safin’s quote, ace yes?


margot Says:

i am it: whoops!! Liked your posts, of course.


i am it Says:

thank you sweet sweet margo for your love. a scientist cannot speak politically incorrect? he gets sacked for speaking truth? well, it was not a truth that the Govt. wanted to hear. poor chap !


Kimmi Says:

Roddick and Soderling not playing in Valencia…C’MOOON Murray.


Mary Says:

Wertheim and Bodo are worthless shills. Bodo needs to be handed a grilled cheese sandwich and sent to the same farm where old dogs and Bud Collins reside.

Agassi states he wrote the letter to the ATP. ARE YOU REALLY SHOCKED THE ATP CEO AT THE TIME IS TRYING TO DEFLECT BLAME FOR COVERING UP DOPING TESTS? It was not the first time.
YOu also had seven other tests covered up by the atp after it was found they spiked drinks, according to wada. Why do you think the program was taken out of the atp’s hands?
Nothing much has changed, just new ways and better lawyers.

Roddick also sounds like an idiot. If Agassi was on his way out and worthless to the sport, he may not have gotten off the hook.

Glad to see Nadal and Federer got the “our sport must stay clean” script.


Mary Says:

Samprazz: The story does not concern Agassi’s private life, but his professional life. You are aware he wrote a book about this, right?

We don’t know really know what, if anything, Agassi turned around in his life. Yes, the school is nice, but charity does not make one a decent person.


Dan Martin Says:

My only two concerns with this matter surround what message gets sent about getting off the hook. Having not read the book I can’t say how that is presented yet. If it is presented in a remorseful tone, I think it will serve as a cautionary tale. If it is presented in a “you can’t catch me, I’m the Ginger Bread Man” tone I think it sends a poor message.

The second concern is that Agassi received a sizable chunk of cash to write this book and the publicity and magazine covers already out there strikes me that A. Agassi owned up after being paid and B. was this what the marketing folks viewed as the hook to generate enough buzz for Agassi’s book to sell enough copies to more than break even and to hold its own against “Going Rogue” and other books coming out soon.

Finally, his split with Perry Rogers being absent from the book seems to raise more questions than answers. Rogers, for purposes of disclosure is a Georgetown grad like me, ran Agassi’s business ventures for a long long time. Maybe Andre had to legally stay away from some of those issues due to Rogers being privy to all of Andre’s financial info over the decades, but does that make the book Open or Partially Open?


i am it Says:

not sure name calling is the measure of a smart person.


Voicemale1 Says:

I have one question: who exactly is this guy Agassi refers to as “Slim”?


sensationalsafin Says:

Is Agassi an indecent person?


sar Says:

Roddick and Soderling not playing in Valencia…

Where’s Nadal playing?


Mary Says:

Voicemale1: I picture Slim as Steve Buscemi.
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm357533952/nm0000114


Voicemale1 Says:

sar:

Nadal doesn’t play again until Paris.


i am it Says:

The draws are out for Valencia and Basel.

Notes:

–My man DelPo has dropped out again, replaced by Cilic or Bolelli.
— My fav Soderling forfeits claim to London for this year.
—Roddick also has dropped out.
—Murray has the easiest road to Semi in Valencia.
—Djokovic’s road to quarter is easy but will likely face a tough opponent in Cilic in the Semi.

====================================================
Valencia
1st Half: Murray, Igor Andreev, Al Montanes, Almagro in the 1st quarter; D. Ferrer, Verdasco, Robredo, Tipsy, or Lopez in the 2nd quarter.

2nd Half: Davydenko, Monaco, Monfils in the 4th quarter; Tsonga, Simon, Berdych, PHM, Youzhny, Ferrero in the 3rd quarter.

=================================================
Basel
1st Half: Federer, Seppi, Chardy, Blake,Bolelli in the 1st quarter; Gonzu, Kohls, Gasquet, Isner in the 2nd quarter.

2nd Half: Djokovic, Wawa, Ljubicic, Benneteau in the 4th quarter; Cilic, Stepanek, Karlovic, Troicki in the 3rd quarter.


i am it Says:

the match between Cilic-Kohls this morning was really good. Cilic plays Melzer in the Vienna final. This should be a cakewalk for Cilic.

old Ljubicic (30) faces old Llodra (29) in the Lyon final, whom he trails 0-1 in h2h in the only match they played on grass, ’08 Halle (7-6, 6-7, 5-7). both have been broken only once in the entire tournament.

i’d like to see the two Croats winning the titles on the same day.

Early predictions:
Basel for Fed.
Valencia for Murray, Tsonga, or Davy.


Twocents Says:

I remembered about talking about Agassi’s wig in the early 90′s when he’s on that infamous “Image is everything” Cannon train :-)). Dashing youth! Agassi was one of my favorites. It just did not surprise me at all that he took meth. It’s not about Agassi. It’s the tour: too much money, too much pressure, and too young kidos.

The only intersting part is why Agassi said it now. He needs the book sales profit like Bill Gate needs counting his change. He and Graf are still on Luis Vitton term? A friend told me that Perry Rogers is releasing a book soon. Consider Rogers’s law suit against Graf, it’s very possible that Agassi/Graf feel it’s better they spilled this out before Rogers.

While it’s refreshing and encouraging to see so many interests on Andre’s meth taking more than a decade ago, I’m delusional ever since Ben Johnson got caught at 88 Olympics: it’s impossible to catch all doping; to distinguish drugs from medicine; to distinguish recreational stimulus (like coffee) from performance enhancement drug. Why bother? Let atheletes take whatever they want. If they’re willing to put their own health at risk to beat competition, it’s their choice.


Kimmi Says:

Early predictions:
Basel for Fed.
Valencia for Murray, Tsonga, or Davy.
________________________________________________

I am it: Basel for only Fed ? You thing Djoko does not have a chance ?

Go Fed. If Murray is recovered Tsonga and Davy will not trouble him. Go Murray.


Kimmi Says:

How serious is DelPo injury ? Is it a wrist ? Is it tendinitis same problem as Murray ? He has not come out to say exactly what has been a problem, has he ? He has pulled out of three or four tourneys now, it must be serious. I hope he will be good to play London. He deserve to be there..


anonymous reader Says:

Gulbis must be relieved nobody’s talking about his seeing swedish prostitutes anymore, lol, I think that’s far more embarrassing than Agassi’s meth admission if you ask me.


jane Says:

Murray leads Davydenko 5-4 and Tsonga 2-1. I wouldn’t assume that Murray’s a shoe-in for the title, Kimmi, especially considering he’s been laid off for a while and the other two are fairly well grooved. I’d say Murray’s one of the top favorites though, clearly!

I don’t really think Djoko can take the Basel title from Fed, but hopefully he can continue his form from the Asian swing.

As for the finals tomorrow – go go Ljub!!


sar Says:

Djok has Wawa,Benneteau, Karlovic,Cilic. That’s a hard draw compared to Fed.

I am It: Don’t you want to see the home boys win? Llodra and Melzer?


sar Says:

He has pulled out of three or four tourneys now, it must be serious.

Kimmi, since he collapsed on center court at the US Open it’s like he still hasn’t gotten up. I can still picture him lying there LOL


i am it Says:

Kimmi, J. answered your question for me. thanks, J.
Good news, Kimmi, is Cilic is vying for London. it is still within sight. thanks to whoever, he got the WC for the Basel. now i would like to Tsonga or Cilic as the 8th man.

as for the WTA Championship final tomorrow, i would like to see a quality match similar to the one the sisters played in the RR. that was one of the most intense matches i have ever seen in the woman’s tennis.


i am it Says:

Sar, i would not mind that but i’ve been in love with the three Croats for a long time. so they swing my vote. sorry.

Kimmi, i don’t know the details about my man. i will keep you posted as they come in.

j. somehow, we are always on the same side, except maybe a few occasions. which is kinda nice.


Kimmi Says:

I don’t know why you guys are underestimating Djoko. He beat federer in Miami and Rome this year. Even though fed beat him in their last meeting [jane I will throw in your own words here] considering he’s been laid off for a while and Djoko is fairly well grooved. You still think Fed is an overwhelming fave ? I would say Fed is slightly ahead but not by much…I would throw Cilic in the mix too.

“Good news, Kimmi, is Cilic is vying for London. it is still within sight. thanks to whoever, he got the WC for the Basel”

yeaah..i am happy for Cilic. he should give thanks to Delpo. What was he thinking to leave things till last minute..(sigh). hope he collects some valuable points in basel. This week he is playing well but he gets ZERO.


jane Says:

yep i am it – kinda nice indeed. : )

Kimmi, like sar mentioned, Djoko has some tough guys to get through to even get to Fed so we’ll see. Plus, it’s Fed’s home court advantage. So I really give the edge to him. You have a point, though, that he’s been sidelined for a while, so maybe he’ll have to play his way into his best form for the later stages of the event, but that’s never been a problem for him in the past.

Like you, I’d throw Cilic into the mix; in fact, it’d be interesting to see him and Fed face off again. It’s been basically one year since their only meeting.


margot Says:

kimmi: lets hope Andy M has just enough competition to raise his game for Paris and YEC. He really needs some serious match practise. For sure I don’t think he’s a certainty. However…goooo Andy, I am eternal optimist!


huh Says:

I’m so happy, I’m finally back and can post again! :)


huh Says:

I’m extremely happy to see the posts of Mrs. Margot and Mrs. Jane once again!


huh Says:

I hoped that Fed’d give some firm, frank and straight-forward opinion about Agassi, but the only persons to have done so are Rafa and Andy! Hats off to Rafa for being so pragmatic and so fearless in giving statement about Agassi, same’s true for Roddick as well, he continues to impress me always. But I’m a bit disappointed with Fed dearest for sounding so artificial and diplomatic in this regards. Come on Fed, say somethng directly about Agassi, good or bad, but yours truly honest opinion, I know you can do it, but come on please!


huh Says:

Thanks to Rafa for so openly stating his wish to keep the sports clean and also for directly speaking w.r.t. Agassi, KUDOS to Rafa, the lion-hearted! My respect for Rafa has increased much more now. I’m completely with Rafa on this matter. I’m not his fan even now, I never was, but now I am a great admirer of him.


Voicemale1 Says:

huh Says:
“Thanks to Rafa for so openly stating his wish to keep the sports clean and also for directly speaking w.r.t. Agassi, KUDOS to Rafa, the lion-hearted! My respect for Rafa has increased much more now. I’m completely with Rafa on this matter. I’m not his fan even now, I never was, but now I am a great admirer of him.”

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -

A good freind pointed out that not only Nadal, but Navratilova, both came out with strong statements. His reasoning was that these two have had to put up with more false accusations of steroid use than any other players, and Nadal can’t go anywhere these days without WADA showing up at his door to collect some specimen from him. I didn’t agree that was his motivation, but could see his point. I think Nadal’s statement was really a reflection on Gasquet. Nadal is the only player to have come out and say publicly he believes Gasquet and has stood by him. They have been friends for a long time. I think his defense of his friend was the real reason his statement was as stern as it was.


i am it Says:

i got my prediction so wrong on Cilic. he committed too many UEs, maybe he underestimated Melzer or whatever. and Melzer proved too good on home court, both defensively and offensively. Cilic could not find court to hit winners. Congrats to Melzer.
well, Cilic was not going to earn any point any way, though title and more prize money would not have been bad.


Kimmi Says:

I am it: Aaaarg, so close for Cilic…this is the problem with him. He can win against some good players and then he can lose against anyone. No consistent…that’s why your buddy DelPo was able to leave him behind. It will be tougher for Cilic in Basel..I put him as one of contenders but with this kind of play, maybe not.

Margot: I agree about Muzza, hope Valencia sharpen him up for the big ones (Paris and London). To play Valencia was a good choice. I am also secretly hoping he can gain some more points to fight for No 3 ranking. Djoko has pulled away after the Asian swing but one can hope.


i am it Says:

sure the first one is a good friend with Gasquet. why else would he give Gasquet a pass? sure the ATP board and tribunal members were friends with Agassi and believed him. why else would they let him go? sure both ATP and the first one have wanted to keep the sport clean?

sure it is ok to give you friend a pass, preemptively influencing the ongoing review, while crying out foul when someone else confesses what he did wrong some 12 years ago when implementation of the rules were lax?

sure it is ok to issue an statement in an attempt to protect some and punish others, and claim he is the first one to keep the sport clean. Is not that the root cause of the problem that we have been criticizing?


jane Says:

Congrats to Melzer and Ljubi!!! Both haven’t won in a while – Ljub for over two years, not sure about Melzer – so it’s nice to see them win. Too bad for Llodra and Cilic.

Agree with you Kimmi – Cilic is inconsistent and has a tendency to fall into committing errors, as i am it points out he did today. Could it be a fitness/stamina thing? He said he’s worked on that very thing, as he’s had a tendency to begin matches strongly and then fade, but who knows.

Agree with you too margot – the main thing for Murray right now is to get some practice and matches in – test out that wrist. Then he can play his best in Paris and at the YEC (for which you now have your tickets – yay!). I don’t care if Djoko or Murray is number 3 or 4, as it doesn’t affect their draws for the main or bigger events. However, it’d sure be nice if one of them could break through and be number 2 or even someday number 1!!? That would change the dynamics of the draws somewhat and we’d get some shifting at the top, which would be nice, imo.

Hi to you huh.


jane Says:

Congrats to Melzer and Ljubi!!! Both haven’t won in a while – Ljub for over two years, not sure about Melzer – so it’s nice to see them win. Too bad for Llodra and Cilic.

Agree with you Kimmi – Cilic is inconsistent and has a tendency to fall into committing errors, as i am it points out he did today. Could it be a fitness/stamina thing? He said he’s worked on that very thing, as he’s had a tendency to begin matches strongly and then fade, but who knows.

Agree with you too margot – the main thing for Murray right now is to get some practice and matches in – test out that wrist. Then he can play his best in Paris and at the YEC (for which you now have your tickets – yay!). I don’t care if Djoko or Murray is number 3 or 4, as it doesn’t affect their draws for the main or bigger events. However, it’d sure be nice if one of them could break through and be number 2 or even someday number 1!!? That would change the dynamics of the draws somewhat and we’d get some shifting at the top, which would be nice, imo.

Hi to you huh.


jane Says:

Sorry for the double post…not sure, but must’ve pressed submit twice?


margot Says:

Hi huh! How’s you after all this time? Dare I ask about the exams?
Now apparently Agassi is saying his father gave him speed b4 some matches. This is getting more and more uncomfortable. As he’s said he “hates” tennis, is he wreaking some sort of revenge on tennis and his father?
kimmi: here’s wishing Andy M is gonna fly high again.


jane Says:

margot – did you read the link I posted a while back, re: Murray playing Hopman with Robson? They could make a very good team. And who knows, maybe she’ll break through further on the WTA tour next year. Do you watch her/ cheer her on? I watched her win Wimbledon as a junior and liked her instantly. Hope she does well in the future.


Voicemale1 Says:

Well here’s a new one for the record books. This has to qualify as the most bizarre justification for ever losing a tennis match. Ever. According to yet another tawdry excerpt from the forthcoming Agassi Tabloid “Open”, seems Andre attributes his loss in the 1990 French Open Final due to his distress that his wig would fall off during the match. He claims it was “damaged” the night before. How a wig could become “damaged” is..well, just plain old fun to contemplate LOL!!

This is side-splittingly funny on the face of it. But honestly, how much more is Agassi willing to debase himself, his career and anything else he’s earned with all of these tawdry, trashy tidbits he insists on revealing about himself? He’s basically presenting his own evidence that he was little more than an anxiety-riddled, looney-tune basket case, albeit one who could hit a tennis ball. That said, what’s next? A revelation that he & Perry Rogers didn’t really “fall out” so much as “broke up”, having really been lovers all their lives???

All of this kinda scares me into thinking Agassi won’t stop with just a book. Brace yourselves for news soon of a film version of “Andre Agassi : Open”. Or worse: A Reality Series, like The Osbornes. Geez – visual images of all this seediness. OMG – Where will all this end??? LOL


margot Says:

jane: Hi! The news about Robson and Murray playing in doubles in Australia has been around for a couple of months in the UK. Yes, she’s very talented, but another young British woman, Heather Watson, won the USOpen. Apparently they are very supportive of each other. This is a bit like the comment about buses, you know you wait for ages, then 6 come along…If only another Andy M would emerge, such a lot of pressure would be off him then.


Dan Martin Says:

More is coming out about Peter Graf and Mike Agassi debating the merits or lack thereof of a slice backhand and the two nearly getting into a boxing match when the two fathers met. Also, it appears Mike Agassi tried to and at least once successfully gave Andre a pill as a junior to help his focus (ADD medication maybe – Agassi said Speed maybe and they are in the same family of drugs). Anyway, this may fall into the TMI category then again I may read it despite facing major exams for my program in December.


huh Says:

Hi Mrs. Margot and of course my exams are at least two months away, so that’s good from one angle but also bad from another angle coz our exams are most probably again gonna start during January , which means I can neither fully enjoy the Aus Open nor can I fully concentrate on my exams, that’s it. [So smiling from this side-(:(-upset from this side] But then, your kind and nice words are always so pleasant and you are so affectionate to me, and that really gives me a great feeling. :) :D :) Smiles for you!!!


huh Says:

Agassi is mad.


jane Says:

margot, I read somewhere that Jamie Baker has come around after his scary ordeal, so at least he’ll be in the mix for Davis Cup and that may help alleviate the pressure on Murray somewhat. But it would be nice if there were another male singles player of note for you. I hadn’t heard of the other UK juniors success on the women’s side; that’s wonderful news. Any help for the WTA will be good; something tells me that next year in the WTA will be better. Hope so.


jane Says:

Dan, I also read that the head hanchos of WADA are trying to find a way to penalize Agassi in some manner to send a message; they are trying to determine if his lie was made “under oath”, whatever, in that case, this would mean.

The wig falling apart is kind of funny.

I don’t know what to think about Agassi’s candid revelations anymore, but they are nothing if not intriguing, and as someone wrote in one of the many articles I’ve read, the ATP will certainly be hesitant about letting anyone off the hook after this!


Voicemale1 Says:

jane Says:

“The wig falling apart is kind of funny.”

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

That’s exactly right. This whole thing of excerpted revelations is basically trashing his own reputation. With each bizarre new tidbit he becomes more and more of a clown. It’s kinda sad to see it, but I’m honestly at a loss to explain why, or even how, publicizing stuff like this will benefit him.


sar Says:

I am it: Don’t worry Cilic will win one soon, maybe next year. Glad for Ljubicic, he’s getting older and needs one. I heard Ancic is quitting.

Speaking of doubles, I keep hoping Rafa and Djokovic can set up some doubles play soon as has been hinted. Imagine how great that could be!


jane Says:

Voicemale1,

“I’m honestly at a loss to explain why, or even how, publicizing stuff like this will benefit him.”

I guess once the whole book is released and some reviews are published, we might know more. But it can’t be for the money, or at least not solely for that purpose; one would think that between Steffi and himself, they must be more than financially secure.

Maybe it’s to clear his conscience? Or to wreck some revenge on his father, or others, as margot suggested earlier?

Maybe it’s to beat this Roger’s fellow to the punch; I believe I read somewhere (was it here?) that he, too, plans to write a book…or something. I’ve read too much on this now that it’s all becoming a bit of a blur, really.


blah Says:

It wouldn’t do that much to hurt his reputation. I think most had known that Agassi was not mentally stable in the first half of his career. With his talent he should have won more than 3 majors in that 7-8 year period, and it took him disappearing from tennis for a while before he started to really want to play the game. People didn’t look at him as a statesman of the game until the last years of his career, and by that time the meth and disorder and punk image were all gone, and I guarantee that he will still be remembered that way after this blows over

As for his purpose writing his book, I don’t think it’s just for money but I don’t think it’s just a sort of confession either. He probably rather reveals this on his own terms then to have it exposed later, now that would look bad. But sports stars of this magnitude often have a biography after they retired, and I am glad that it’s not just the dry stuff you usually get. Sampras’ book was really a boring read, for example, but he didn’t get blitzed by claims such as him just writing it for money and publicity. Why would anyone have biographies then? I would say it’s a certain kind of ego to believe that their own life is important enough to be written about.

This is getting this much attention because of him revealing details about his abusive childhood and of course, the meth, but many athletes later reveal details about their lives, it’s just that their lives weren’t this upside down I guess. I don’t think the revelations would really damage tennis either, who’s going to stop watching because of the revelation that atp let him get away with lying?


RJ Says:

Never a fan of Agassi but as blah posted these revelations wont really damage tennis. If anything it will only tarnish Agassi’s legacy.

Which then raises the question whether it makes sense to test for recreational drugs at all?


sensationalsafin Says:

Recreational drugs are still illegal so governing sports bodies shouldn’t simply overlook them.

I personally enjoyed Sampras’s book. It was called a Champion’s Mind and that’s exactly what it was. He talked about what it took for him to become the champion that he was and I thought it was very interesting. I found it harder to read Blake’s book since a lot of it was really about his personal life. Part of it was kinda boring and the other part was just really sad and hard to digest.


RJ Says:

True its illegal, but if the player wants to ruin his life and his health then its his lookout. As long as its not performance enhancing why should ATP care?


sensationalsafin Says:

If Roger Federer was doing coke, the ATP should just overlook it and let him ruin his life? Hell no! Federer is really important to promoting the ATP and tennis in general, why anyone want him to ruin himself? And if they’re not gonna let a top player ruin his life, they shouldn’t let a lower player ruin his either. The players are a part of the ATP, right? So they should look out for each other. Why should they disregard something like that? Intervention.


huh Says:

Did safin win Moscow?


huh Says:

It’s actually getting boring.


sensationalsafin Says:

No. Safin sucks at tennis.


blah Says:

Good answer. Is that his last tournament?


sensationalsafin Says:

No he’s playing Paris. Err, going to Paris to say bye.


SpanishArmada-fan Says:

Andre Agassi has also revealed that his father gave him speed as a performance enhancer – his brother warned him against this but he took it anyway to take it but he did!


tabletennis1 Says:

All of you character bashers need to get over it. Andre was at a career low and he did what he did. Don’t be naive the world is not perfect. It is just tennis. The man has done nothing but good with his personal gains. What would our commander in chief say. Yea, thats right he got elected to our highest office and he abused illegal drugs. You tell me, get over it and move on. You go Andre.


Andrew Miller Says:

As for Agassi’s French Open 1990 loss, after seeing a clip, I have one thing to say: Agassi may have been bothered by the hairpiece, but that only suggests that Agassi may be obsessive compulsive. For example, in some matches (earlier and even somewhat later in his career) when things were not going well, Agassi did not recover – he became somewhat negative (not a la John McEnroe, but more a la James Blake). Thus the match against Andres Gomez – things were not going perfectly, there is the nagging hairpiece problem and the opponent playing quite well, so the doubts fester and Agassi did not meet the challenge.

I think that point is a bit revealing – I know Agassi was always into pretty elaborate rituals on court, and getting rid of all of the hair might have been the biggest thing that contributed to winning grand slams (he won 6 of his eight slams after shedding the goldy locks). In other words, Agassi one by one straightened out the little things that got to him.

Then again, how could someone with OCD be able to play so well in the wind? Agassi usually never had many problems playing in bad conditions. So maybe he doesnt have that at all.


Andrew Miller Says:

Anyhows. I think a lot of people may call Agassi a cheat. In the end, Agassi cheated himself and some of his possibilities, in order to get a wake up call and make the most of the limited amount of time he had left (arguably, Agassi had the greatest career of any player from age 29 to age 36). Not even Jimmy Connors did what Agassi did in his 30s – long after any meth problems, or what he continues to do outside of a tennis court.

Here’s the speech to his wife Steffi Graf. This is probably the best speech ever given in the tennis world, and it can only come from someone who thought long and hard about his life. Agassi may yet surprise people in a negative way, he might continue to disappoint somewhere down the line. But this is a great moment.

http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/andreagassistefgrafinduction.htm


Giner Says:

The reactions are a bigger deal to me than what Agassi did. I assume crystal meth is not a performance enhancer, so in my mind it shouldn’t be a bannable offense.

If it’s an illegal drug then his issue should be with the law. Tennis should not be suspending or banning players for taking recreational drugs. That’s not their issue to deal with — theirs is performance enhancing drugs. What a player sniffs in his own time is his business (if it doesn’t affect his game or ability to win), not that I condone this stuff.

Perhaps this incident made him a better person and put his career back on track leading to more slams? If so, good for him.

Now the most interesting part of this story is the reaction from the players, particularly Nadal. Nadal to my knowledge has never openly criticised a person. He always tries to be a respectful and polite as possible to the extent that some people think he’s annoyingly faking it and being disingenuous. Even when a person he’s talking about deserves to be criticised, he’ll lay off them. So for him to criticise Agassi is as big a news story as Agassi’s confession itself.

He didn’t have to ever say anything, so knowing what kind of controversy it would stir and how negatively people would react, I have to wonder what his motive was in revealing this.

I haven’t lost any respect for the guy. I don’t see it as a big deal that he took meth. I’ve never tried drugs myself of any sort and never will, but if he needed it and it made him feel better, that’s his business. Him lying about it on the other hand is not so cool, but I contend that the ATP and ITF should not have made a big deal out of it in the first place.


i am it Says:

i did not want to add anything on this issue, but could not help directing your attention on the change of tide.
Sean may want to consider adding these.

Navra’s jab at AA is actually a jab at Graf that the Russian could not deal on court. a strange way to seek revenge.
http://www.tennisweek.com/news/fullstory.sps?inewsid=6642534

Murray sounded much sensible on AA.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/tennis/article6898669.ece

at the end, the bad mouthers will face consequences, which includes “the first one.” if you wanna inflict more pain on someone’s bruise, it’s gonna only backfire on you. it won’t make you a hero.

after the storm has subsided, most big name tennis writers have been more cautions and compassionate. at least, this is true in the Americas.
http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/blog/busted_racquet/post/Agassi-deserves-criticism-for-actions-but-not-f;_ylt=Akb7PdSEvqKy8OvhGvzN0Sw4v7YF?urn=ten,200491

Giner, you are on the money on this. together with you, majority of the posters of this site have cast their opinion votes on AA’s side, though for various reasons. negativists have vented their anger with whatever wrong going on in their lives. sort of cathartic for them, too. nothing wrong with that.
i am glad we are finally back to tennis, after the media propelled distraction.


anon Says:

The punishment back then for recreational drug use was a 3 month suspension. This was 1997 when he didn’t win anything, just wallowed around in misery, losing to every player, losing to guys even in the challengers. A 3 month ban would have been GOOD for him if anything. Maybe it would have given him a jolt and he would have made his comeback earlier.


Bond Says:

Agassi should be widely respected for the work he’s done with education. As a player, he should get no respect. Clemens… uh I mean Agassi, claims he took meth in 1997 for “a year or so.” What does that mean? After he lied and got off, we’re supposed to believe he wasn’t still using in 1998 when he was #6 or in 1999 when he was #1? Was meth all that he was using? How do we take the word of a confessed liar and drug abuser now a decade later? Taking meth for more than a year is more than just “casual” use, its abuse. He wants us to believe he quit cold turkey after prolonged abuse? As for the hair, I guarantee it fell out because of the drugs! To make some ammends, I hope every penny of profit from this book goes to his foundation for the kids. Boris Becker was 100% correct in saying that Agassi’s career would have been much different if he was suspended properly. He would have had to say buh bye to $$$ millions in endorsements as well! In what light would he have been seen in then?

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