Some of the most entertaining passages in Andre Agassi’s new autobiography describe his intense dislike for Boris Becker. Andre calls his loss to Becker in the 1995 Wimbledon semifinals “the most devastating of my life” and is further enraged by the snarky comments Boris made to the press after the match (Becker described Agassi as an “elitist” who was unpopular in the locker room.) Agassi sought sweet revenge at the US Open, where the players met again in the semis. The tension was so high in the tunnel before the match that Agassi told the security guard to keep them apart: “I don’t want this fucking German in my sight,” is how he put it.
But there was no escaping Boris’s antics on the court. Down two sets to none, Boris brought out the big guns. And Andre didn’t mean his serve:
“He’s seen me lose my cool before, so he does what he thinks will make me lose my cool again, the most emasculating thing one tennis player can do to another: He blows kisses at my box. At Brooke (Shields). It works.”
Agassi won the match in four sets, but the mental and physical effort left him too drained to stand up to Pete Sampras in the final. When the Australian Open came around, Agassi claims he tanked his semifinal against Michael Chang to avoid another “holy war” against Becker in the final. “Given a choice between Becker and Chang, I’d rather lose to Chang.” Becker won the Australian Open that year.
Something tells me Boris read Andre’s book. He’s quoted this month in Der Spiegel:
“Every tennis player in our generation liked Steffi Graf: great woman, great body, sexy, always winning. Everyone in the locker room found Steffi hot”
He adds that he, personally, felt nothing but brotherly affection for Fräulein Forehand.
Jim Courier better sign Becker onto the Outback seniors circuit! Andre must be itching for a fight!
Andre and Steffi were featured in Vogue this month (click here). The title of the story? “Perfect Match”
Becker mentioned that he feels sorry for athletes who cultivate perfect images like Steffi and Andre:
“How difficult it is to live! How exhausting! They can never misbehave in a restaurant!” (HA!) “They can never divorce.”
But in October, Becker criticized the not-so-perfect Agassi for his crystal-meth use and drug test cover up (via Telegraph):
“I’m the last person to throw stones, as there have been some difficult times in my own life, but to hear that he took crystal meth, that certainly puts a whole new light on Andre. And it’s not a beautiful light.”
Boris, who like Andre, is on his second marriage, claims that his own days of misbehaving are over.
“I have tried everything and decided for myself that I’m happier with a partner, I’m better.”
He certainly has tried everything:
Here’s some footage from the 1995 Wimbledon semifinal:
Forget Brooke and Steffi, I’m thinking it all comes down to hair envy: