Andre Agassi Book On Sale Now

by Staff | November 9th, 2009, 1:02 am

Andre Agassi’s autobiography hits bookshelves Monday in the U.S. Circulated excerpts from the long-awaited release of “Open” have already been met with both outrage and sympathy from the public and tennis officials alike.

In the book Agassi reveals the bombshell that he took the hardcore drug crystal meth for the better part of his 1997 tennis season. The meth later showed up on a positive drug test but Agassi was cleared of any malfeasance after he lied to Tour officials claiming he accidentally ingested the drug only after he mistakenly sipped his assistant’s drink.

Agassi also talks about his hatred for tennis stemming from his father Mike’s drive for him to not just be a tennis pro but to be one of the best ever. Mike raised Agassi against his wishes to become a tennis star, tapping paddles to his hands at a young age and even having Andre skip school so the child could spend more time on the tennis court.

There are also passages about his romantic life including  his marriage and eventual divorce to Brooke Shields and then later his relationship with Steffi Graf.

Agassi also writes about the wig he wore early in his career when his hair began falling out at age 20. He also spills on the topic of tanking matches, not wearing underwear during the latter stages of his career and even takes a shot at Pete Sampras for not being a good tipper!

A teary and remorseful Agassi was on air Sunday night in the U.S. in an extended, exclusive interview with Katie Couric on the venerable newsmagazine 60 Minutes.  A book signing tour will also kick off to accompany the release of the memoir.

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25 Comments for Andre Agassi Book On Sale Now

Mary Says:

Remorseful? No. You must be confused. Agassi was perplexed about the when, how, and why of Katie Couric’s now orange skin.

But there’s a great book out called Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart. Did you see that? That book says the statute of limitations has expired on all childhood traumas. Get your stuff together and get on with your life, man. Stop whinin’ about what’s wrong, because everybody’s had a rough time, in one way or another.

– Quincey Jones on Michael Jackson

Tennis Betting Says:

A lot of things have been discussed about Agassi’s life. Interesting. Let me get a copy of the book.. Between, please start posting the reviews on the book.

sar Says:

I’m getting it from the library.

Dan Martin Says:

First, I like Agassi the person quite a bit. The competitor not so much. I think any fan who bought a ticket to watch Agassi play in one of the matches he tanked, any fan who traveled to see Andre play when he tanked, deserves an apology. Try tanking a league match and see how well it goes over. League tennis is not that big of a deal and to lose on purpose is a major no-no at that level. What about the level where fans buy plane tickets, drive for hours, stay at hotels, all for the chance of seeing great tennis. Some fans even make a point of seeing their favorite players. To see Agassi tank in the semifinal of a major event where he was defending champion is more troubling than the drug stuff. Agassi did give fans a lot of great moments over the decades, but he sure did something I don’t think many other players do – he tanked. Imagine if Roddick tanked Wimbledon this year figuring he had little chance of beating Federer. Imagine Federer tanking Wimbledon 2008 because Nadal had whipped him 1 month earlier in Paris. The result of the champions would have been the same, but fans and the sport would have been robbed of two epic matches. Hewitt may be a knob, but I never would feel like I wasted my money watching him play. Tanking …. many sports would ban a player for life if it became common knowledge they lost on purpose. Tennis will likely have a soiree for Andre in Newport, RI and never mention the fans who went out of their way to see him fake effort.

sensationalsafin Says:

Maybe when I can walk to another court to watch someone else I can say I didn’t waste money watching Hewitt. But I’ve seen him play some awful tennis and that’s just a waste of time.

Anyways, I fully agree. 1000%. It’s just ridiculous. Maybe the reason Nadal hasn’t met Federer in a lot of hard court finals is because he tanked since he was afraid of Fed evening out the h2h? Haha, no but seriously. I watched a clip of Agassi’s interview and they asked him about it. This is why I have a lot of respect for Agassi;

Interviewer: You said you tanked matches. How do you justify that?
Agassi: You don’t. There is no justifying that.
(I may have parapharsed a little).

Agassi is not being defensive about anything. He’s saying everything as it is. It’s not like he doesn’t know why he tanked, but there is no question about whether it’s right or wrong because it’s clearly wrong. But nonetheless, you can’t say Agassi didn’t invest himself in the second half of his career. I recently got the Agassi-Roddick Cincy match back in 04 where Agassi won by a score of 7-5 6-7 7-6 and went on to beat Hewitt in 3 sets in the final. Not much tanking going on there and we got 2 great matches.

Mary Says:

Safin calling Agassi out:
SS: How do you know he was not cheating in the second half of his career?!

“Tennis will likely have a soiree for Andre in Newport, RI and never mention the fans who went out of their way to see him fake effort.”

Lucky for tennis that its reporters(esp. those in the US) are more interested in hanging out at soirees with tennis players than actually reporting anything worthwhile, let alone accurate.
The Agassi stuff is nothing new.

sensationalsafin Says:

When did Agassi cheat at all?

Safin’s a shmuck. I never thought I’d say this but he’s being a douche. Let me make this clear, Safin is Russian and in Russia, “depresseion” doesn’t exist. Safin doesn’t understand what Agassi went through. To Safin, Agassi just screwed around and partied and just randomly did drugs. No Safin, maybe that’s what you’ve done and experienced, but that’s not the case for everyone. Why doesn’t Safin issue an apology to all of his fans over the last 10 years for playing like a half-assed monkey and not caring for the sport more. If anyone should be able to relate to Agassi’s attitude towards tennis it should be Safin. I’m incredibly disappointed.

Dan Martin Says:

I just think it is interesting to look at how different sports would handle someone throwing a match/event/game. Tennis as an individual sport perhaps allows for a little leeway, but to intentionally lose is not good. Agassi understands that and that is great. I still think all of his understanding does not change the fact that in other sports he would be banned for a time period or for life for throwing contests.

Tanking is an interesting subject. The week after Rafter and Sampras played their great final at Cincy in 1998 each player lost early in New Haven to lesser talents (Paes d. Sampras 6-3, 6-4 and G. Raoux d. Rafter 7-6, 6-3). To a degree I would say both went out on court knowing they used a lot of energy in Cincy and knowing the USO was not far off and each kind of played a vanilla game with the idea they weren’t going to dig deep to win. That sort of tanking is less severe than just throwing a match, but I think it is what will keep Andre from receiving too much bad press. I would say there are 3 types of tank jobs in tennis.

1. The meltdown – not a total tank but if a player loses his or her marbles that player has little to no chance at victory. This is not exactly a tank, but it is not good if everyone associated with the match knows it is over minus the formalities of the points, games and sets needed to end the match. This is the least odious tank in my mind, but it is still annoying to watch.

2. The conserving energy/setting the bar low tank. A player has one game plan and one level of effort he or she is willing to give and if the match gets any tougher he or she is not going to win. However, if the opponent can’t rise to the occasion this player will win the match and not be upset about winning. Pretty annoying to see.

3. Throwing the match/taking a dive tank job – the worst sort. Agassi pulled this in 1996 vs. Chang. When else? Maybe the 1996 U.S. Open semi? If you are Jim Courier and lost to Agassi in the 96 Aussie quarters, would you wish you could have taken a shot versus Chang and maybe Becker? I doubt Courier at that stage of his career comes through, but the chance would have been better than throwing a match in a slam semifinal.

I will agree with Sensational that on a whole Andre was quite different 1998-2006 than he was 1986-1997, but his stunt versus Kucera at the 98 USO, rifling a ball at a lineswoman at the 2001 Wimbledon still makes me think some of his old ways died hard.

Like I said, I think he seems like a great person. As a tennis competitor I think he has admitted to enough that in other sports he would be banned from the Hall of Fame or from the sport in general for some period of time if not for life. A recreational drug, not that big of a deal – it would have been a 3 month ban but that plus lying to the authorities of the tour plus throwing matches in BIG events adds up to a pretty spotty competitor in my mind. If he recognizes it great, but it still is deplorable.

sensationalsafin Says:

If you’re a hot head then you’re always a hot head. Old habits die hard. Federer in Miami and the USO, anyone?

I doubt we’ll see Serena threaten anyone’s life any time soon but does that mean she’s never gonna argue with a bad call? No way. That’s just how some people are.

Marcus Says:

Agassi is a phony. But he is a big celebrity and a lot of his duped blind celebrity worshiping fans will continue to kiss his you-know-what.

MMT Says:

Dan Marting said: “As a tennis competitor I think he has admitted to enough that in other sports he would be banned from the Hall of Fame or from the sport in general for some period of time if not for life.”

That’s an extraordinary contention, particularly given your listed gradations of tanking.

The missing element in tanking and throwing a match is the conspiracy, such that someone could take advantage of a predetermination to perform poorly. That has not happened with Agassi.

And the taking of crystal meth, while disappointing and perhaps surprising, would not have been the end of the world for him – I’m quite certain he would have been forgiven, given his popularity. Lying about is another story, but still I don’t think that would disqualify him from much of anything in any other sport other than baseball in the last 3-4 years only.

What specifically would you say would get him banned (either from playing actively, or the all of fame) in other sports?

sensationalsafin said: “To Safin, Agassi just screwed around and partied and just randomly did drugs. No Safin, maybe that’s what you’ve done and experienced, but that’s not the case for everyone.”

I think he’s making a point that if he Agassi really all about fair play, then he’s only taking half-measures here. And, I know you’re not doing this, but it is a bit ridiculous for people (like Mary Jo Fernandez, for example) to congratulate him for “coming clean” and/or excuse his decision because he was afraid of his father when he was a kid – when he broke the rules and lied about it he was a 27 year old man, and 3-time GS champion – plenty of experience for him to fess up like a man. He took the easy way out – maybe not the easiest, because he could have taken it to his grave – but a lot easier fessing up straight away.

I’m glad he’s admitting his guilt now (better late than never) and I don’t think he should hand his titles or his money back, but that’s a personal opinion, and I accept that there are a lot of people who are not so forgiving.

Dan Martin Says:

Even without a conspiracy, throwing a match if not matches hurts the integrity of the sport. Why should people buy tickets or watch a sport on TV if it is not being played by people who want to win. I think throwing a major match and likely throwing others along with lying to the authorities of the sport would get a player some sort of formal sanction.

Also, I get that Mike Agassi was not Father of the Year material, but he is elderly. To publish a tell all that paints him in a poor light so late in his life seems a bit passive aggressive. That would not lead to a ban, but it does raise the questions of why say all of this stuff now?

sensationalsafin Says:

I think Agassi’s career needs to be looked at in more parts than 2.

From 88 – 91 he was young and hot headed but there was also a lot of pressure on him to be number 1 and win many slams and so on. He finally broke through in 92 winning his first slam and had a good 2 years from 92-93. Then he dropped off in 94 again and didn’t come back until a romance helped ignite his inspiration and he won another slam in 94. He followed up with a great 95 where he won his third slam. Unfortunately, that USO loss was a huge blow and he began to lose interest in tennis yet again. Kinda like, if I’m still not the best when I’m at my best, what’s the point of playing? – type of thing. 96 wasn’t that bad but then he got unhappy in his personal life and that translated into his tennis. He was DEPRESSED. No upset, not bored, DEPRESSED. 97 was just a bad year for Andre Agassi. Not just tennis but in his life overall. 98 he began to pick up but he was still recovering. Finally he hit full gear in 99 and continued his great play until he retired. He just had to deal with a lot of injuries in 05 and 06 but still made that 05 USO final.

Dan Martin Says:

I agree many chapters and the more I think about it the more an individual sport has some leeway on questionable efforts. I still think out and out dogging it is not good (as do you and Andre I might add), but in a team sport if a player is not 100% or only has so much to give the coach can say hey give me 20 good minutes and your back up plays the rest of the time rather than seeing a worn down start try to stretch whatever he has for 40 or 48 or 60 minutes. So individual sports are going to have some matches that just go thud for whatever reason and fans more or less know this can happen. I still distinguish this from I am just not going to try, but Yevgeny and a few others threw out some questionable efforts from time to time they just might not admit that it was a tank job from the moment the match started.

Marcus Says:

Agassi should be stripped of all his titles. His name should be expunged from all the record books. He should not be in the tennis Hall of Fame. He should volunteer to have all these things done if he is truly sorry. But I don’t think he will do that because he is a PHONY.

sensationalsafin Says:

Dan, that’s exactly the thing though. In team sports, if a particular player tanks, then he possibly hurts the whole team. In an individual sport, you can’t really fault a player for tanking. The thing is, what separates Agassi’s tanks from others is that he went out and purposely TRIED to lose. He said how hard it was making sure he played close but still lost. That is pretty difficult. I sometimes do that in video games and even that’s annoying. But in the end, when a player tanks, the fans suffer the most. The tournaments already have their money and the players already have the viewers, but the fans miss out. Federer, Safin, and Davydenko have all been fined for lack of effort. I remember saying how it’s ridiculous to assume a player isn’t trying hard. But if that’s the case then what are we to really do about it? You wanna ban Federer? No. So you’re gonna let him tank whatever he wants as long as he doesn’t do it the majority of the time. Mary “Idiot” Carillo accused Federer of tanking against Murray back in 06. Federer was furious at the accusation. But in that match, Federer could only fight so hard. I don’t know what my point is there but while I don’t agree with any player tanking ever (I just love to see a good fight, honestly), we can’t really penalize them for doing it. Don’t you ever go into work sometimes and do a half assed job because you’re just not feeling it on the day?

Mary Says:

SS: Nice point about players showing up collecting their appearance money and “losing” their first match. Agassi was accused by officials of doing just that back 05 or 06 at the YEC.

DanMartin: I forgot you were a reporter. The players seem upset that more info about the sport may come out.
As a tennis reporter, do you think tennis would ban a reporter for not towing the party line?(why does si bother with a tennis site) The info Agassi is admitting to has been in circulation for some time. I don’t buy that the guy suddenly went straight(doping and tanking) after 97. Other players, most recent being Santoro, have written books and given interviews complaining about how the big players get away with doping and tanking matches.

sensationalsafin Says:

Agassi didn’t play 06 YEC and he retired right after the 05 loss.

huh Says:

Agassi must return at least some money coz it’s hard to return titles. Whether the drug has in anyway helped him in increasing his level of performance remains to be examined or found out by analysing, I’m totally a layman on this matter, so don’t know what to say?

However on another note, what’s the use of earning money by cheating and then doing philanthropic stunts?

Skorocel Says:

“and even takes a shot at Pete Sampras for not being a good tipper!”

What’s tipper?

jeremy Says:

here are some original thoughts on agassi…i wont bother posting everything i already wrote, but to sum up – its all about the $$$

scineram Says:

Pete gave 1$ for the parking guy.

margot Says:

Skorocel: have you seen “Reservoir Dogs”? In the hillarious opening scene the chief gangster goes mad because one of the gang does not give the waitress enough extra money for serving them their meal, ie does not “tip” her and thus is not a good “tipper.” You are expected to do this in UK if you are pleased with the service in restaurants and hotels.

Skorocel Says:

margot: So as far as I understand, according to Agassi, Pete was a scrooge? Anyway, thanks for the explanation :-)

margot Says:

skorocel: Scrooge is character from Charles Dickens who was very mean with his money. The kind of character who never buys a round of drinks in a pub! Am sure you’ve met them! Not nice about Pete but who knows if Ande’s truthing?

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