SI: Rumor has it that you are a legendary tennis fan.
Hoffman: I am a legendary tennis player.
SI: So assess your game for our readers.
October 16, 2005
Hoffman: I used to serve and volley, but in the last few years I stopped doing that, like the pros.
SI: How often do you play?
Hoffman: Every morning when I'm not working. Andre Agassi once practiced on my court before the French Open because I have a clay court. Then he got knocked out in the first round. Andre has not spoken to me since.
SI: Do you follow the sport closely?
Hoffman: I watch it, but not that closely. But tennis is what I have done all my life. That's what I did in high school [in Los Angeles] because of my lack of stature. That was the sport open to me.
SI: Who is the best player you've played against?
Hoffman: In front of 8,000 people at the Mercedes-Benz Cup in L.A., I returned a 127-mph serve from Mark Philippoussis. And I won the point. You can ask him. I lie in life a lot but never about tennis.
SI: What's the best tennis gift you have received?
Hoffman: My wife once gave me Jimmy Connors. It was a birthday gift for him to come over and play with me.
SI: Any player remind you of you?
Hoffman: Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario. She's a great hustler. A short retriever.
SI: Have you ever told her this?
Hoffman: I've never met her. If I met her, though, I would probably leave my wife for her.