Agassi's anecdotes shine brightest
• It was all-Andre, all the time this week. Never mind that the WTA just held its year-end championships. Before we talk specific issues, I want to urge everyone to read this book (which will be released on Monday). It is can't-put-down good. I kept recalling
What effect does the meth bombshell have on Agassi's legacy? I suspect the answer will be different in a month, when people have actually read the entire book, and not simply a blurb. Right now, Agassi is taking a hit -- fueled, surprisingly, by
But because the drug use was not performance-enhancing and because it was undertaken in 1997 when Agassi was winning nothing, it's hard to make the case that it distorted his achievements or robbed the competition. Not that Agassi is too worried either way. As he takes pains to point out, he doesn't much care for tennis. Not as a sport. Not as a profession. Not as an institution. For someone so perceptive about the technical side of the sport and the "process" of hitting a ball, he ain't losing sleep about his perceived status in the Kingdom of Tennis.
• I suppose that collateral damage is, necessarily, an unpleasant consequence of writing a brutally honest nonfiction book. Reputations take a hit, myths are exploded, achievements are recast in lesser light. Agassi seldom comes off as petty or a bitter guy simply settling old scores. He backs up most of his assertions. But from
• I presume Jay is talking about Agassi's kicking his crystal meth habit. Without giving away too much, here's what is frustrating: It's not entirely clear what effect this had on his career. Did the meth hamper his training or his tennis in the long term? Did
• As similar questions/assertions keep coming in, I feel like this topic exploded on us a bit. I tried make a half-facetious point that Serena's physique and temperament make the prospect of her playing a low-ranked male pro particularly intriguing. But just so we're clear: Serena would stand
• Just to refresh: This e-mail was published in last week's mailbag. And this arrived in response ...
• In your
• A number of people -- including
• No kidding. I heard an announcement was coming the first week of October. Since then, radio silence. I don't envy the administrators on this one. No matter how this plays out, there will be a lot of anger and unhappy constituents.
• She needs no persuading. What she needs is a healthy shoulder.
• But it didn't happen. Just when you thought we had exhausted the "why Federer is great" file, here's another point: When was the last time he took a bad loss at a major? By my reckoning, it was the French in 2003 (a first-round loss to
• Really, we pride ourselves on providing a full service mailbag here. Carol is referring to last week's mailbag in which I compared del Potro with another strong newcomer,
• I am. Without reservation.
• Absolutely. Remind me to tell you my
• For the vast army of
• Notice, though, when the pool is televised. It's often on ESPN2 when there is a marquee event on ESPN or ABC, counterprogramming to make sure as small an audience as possible tunes in.
• Trick or treat. Federer is the new global ambassador for Lindt Chocolate.
• Speaking of Federer, he's committed to Estoril in 2010.
• Was at a dinner in Detroit the other night and randomly ran into
• Remember our discussion about
Have a great week, everyone!