Although Andre Agassi is considered a tennis legend, he did not choose to make a living as a child.
In his 2009 autobiography OpenThe American revealed that it was his father who forced him to start playing the sport at a young age and groomed him for the highest level while hating playing tennis. It was only a few years after establishing himself as a top player that he really embraced the sport.
Another shocking revelation in the book was Agassi’s use of an illegal drug called “Crystal Metanphetamine” in 1997 and lying to the ATP to avoid a ban. He was married to actress Brooke Shields at the time and was unhappy with either the marriage or his career.
Speaking of today’s program In 2009, he explained that when someone offered him the drug, he took it to escape his reality.
“Well, I was depressed, that’s really the main reason,” Agassi said. “I found myself in a life I didn’t want to be in. I was doing something I hated and didn’t choose for myself. I was in a marriage I didn’t want to be in and you know, he was depressed. I don’t have the energy to pull out of tournaments and here’s something that comes along and offers me an out and I took it.
He further explained that after considering quitting tennis several times, he hoped the drug would help him finish his career. Agassi was even willing to get injured to stop playing tennis.
“I thought a lot about quitting and it was difficult for me. I never had the strength to stop, I wanted to continue somehow. I had this conflict and I knew that maybe this would eliminate the choice for me. It’s like wishing for an injury on the field. I used to get that feeling when I fell and broke my ankle,” she said.
‘Losing my hair was something I struggled with’: Andre Agassi wore a wig at the 1990 French Open
Andre Agassi in the 1990 French Open final
Andre Agassi reached his first Grand Slam final at the 1990 French Open, but lost to Andrés Gómez of Ecuador in four sets. In his book, the American revealed that he wore a wig during the title fight and was afraid it would fall off in front of the world.
In the same interview with today’s show, He claimed that he lost 80% of his hair the night before the finale, forcing him to use pins to tie up his wig. Agassi considered his hair part of his image.
“The night before the French Open final, I used the wrong conditioner and my hair started to pull and I had 80% less hair,” said Andre Agassi. “I saw my brother lose his hair. It was very emotional for him and that impressed me, plus he was very connected to my image. Losing my hair was something I struggled with.”
Edited by Nihal Taraporvala