|ESPN.com: 2009||[Print without images]|
Andre Agassi is finally starting to breathe again after two weeks of controversy and turmoil followong the release of his book, "Open," which is so flammable you need oven mitts to read it.
In two separate one-hour interviews with me, he even laughed about it.
"The whole thing was just a typo," he says. "I didn't say I did meth. I said I did math."
On Martina Navratilova likening his using meth to Roger Clemens and his alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs: "Come on. I couldn't have beaten her on it."
On the possibility that Jimmy Connors, whom Agassi called plenty of names, including "prick," might come after him: "Jimmy Connors is 5-foot-9, 160 pounds. I'm not that worried about it."
On his father, Mike, whom Agassi describes as an unstoppably driven parent/coach who robbed him of his childhood: "I asked him, 'Dad, are you gonna read the book?' And he said to me, 'What the hell do I need to read your book for? I was there!'"
On getting in a fight with then-wife Brooke Shields, coming back to his Las Vegas house and smashing every trophy he had, including those from the Davis Cup, Wimbledon and U.S. Open: "Some of them we could kind of get the dents out. The U.S. Open (one), I kind of got a hammer in there."
On whether playing without underwear -- which he did in every match after 1999 -- hurt: "I don't know what it says about me, but it didn't."
On his observation that Boris Becker would stick his tongue out of his mouth in the direction he was about to serve: "It was impossible for me to lose to the guy after that! He'd tell the press, 'It's like he reads my mind!' But I wasn't. I was reading his tongue."
On where one gets a mullet toupee, which he wore for years without the public discovering: "Hair Club for Men."
On whether his wife, Steffi Graf, ever wants him to get it out. "Only on Halloween."