Tennis

Andre Agassi opens up about drug use

Andre Agassi
Andre Agassi had quite a bit on his mind Friday.
Share This Story

Richard Evans

Richard Evans has covered tennis since the 1960s, reporting on more than 150 Grand Slams. He is author of 15 books, including the official history of the Davis Cup and the unofficial history of the modern game in "Open Tennis." Follow him on Twitter.

MORE>>
 
   
 

MELBOURNE, Australia

Andre Agassi thinks his own fall from grace with the use of recreational drugs may have helped tennis protect itself by calling in the outside governance of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

EYES ON MELBOURNE

EYES ON MELBOURNE

Check out all the action from Melbourne Park.

Speaking at Melbourne Park on Friday while touring to promote an autobiography, Agassi said, “I think that tennis has always led the way [in drug testing]. I really believe that. For their own reasons I might have played a part in it, for them going to WADA and the governance that has no horse in the race. That, to me, is a great thing.”

Then Agassi turned the focus back to himself, and his use of drugs during his playing days — the most talked-about portion of his book.

“For me, it would have kept me from destroying a few years of my life. That’s what I did to myself with the use of the recreational destructive substance of crystal meth. It would have saved me on a lot of fronts. The more testing, the better as far as I am concerned. The stricter, the better; the more transparency, the better, the more accountability, the better.”

Agassi said it has been hard for him to stomach the revelations of Lance Armstrong.

“Sadness, disappointment, I think ‘anger’ is a fair word,'' he said. "I was certainly one of those who flat-out believed him over that long period of time. The thought of it not being the case was unconscionable to me.”

Agassi also talked about how the game has evolved.

“I marvel at it all,” said the man who won four Aussie Open titles, collected eight Grand Slams in all and achieved the career Slam.

“My whole game was based on playing with that sense of urgency and to force guys to be ballistic out there, to treat a marathon like a sprint,'' he said. "I benefited from raising the stakes. I had more or less four hours in me before I knew I was running on borrowed time, physically. That’s four hours of me running other people, you know.

2013 Australian Open

PRESSURE COOKER

We're into the late rounds of the Open, and the losses hurt more than ever.

“So to watch them do it, they’re more calculated now. They play slower, so six hours is not the same six hours that I played. But these guys like [Novak] Djokovic and [Andy] Murray, they’re much better athletes. They also appear to be stronger in the lower body than I was; in the upper body, not so much. But my game was never about using my legs as much as they do.”

Agassi said he relied on getting an opponent behind in a point and “slowly smothering them.”

He went on, “But now nobody’s behind in a point. You never know when they’re behind. That would have eliminated any ability I had to move forward in the court. That means I would have had to have been a different player. It means the game has gotten a lot better.”

More Stories From Richard Evans

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



Tennis Videos

Djokovic tops Federer in five-set Wimbledon final Posted: Jul 06, 2014
Novak Djokovic captures his second Wimbledon title while denying Roger Federer a...

Dramatic Moments of the Week: 6/2-6/8 Posted: Jun 09, 2014
We count down the most dramatic moments from the week in sports, including the K...

Williams sisters bounced at Roland Garros Posted: May 28, 2014
Andy Roddick on Venus and Serena losing on the same day at the French Open.

Fox Sports Store