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Give This Man a Trophy 

Wednesday, Nov 11 2009
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The mid-'90s was a big time for tennis. In 1994, Pavement released “Stop Breathing,” an epic song about tennis and something. In 1996, David Foster Wallace released Infinite Jest, an epic novel about something and tennis. Between those iconic poles, Andre Agassi shaved his head, releasing his tremendous mullet — which had taken him pro at 16 and to a Wimbledon championship in 1992 — to history. Or so we thought. As revealed in Agassi's autobiography, Open, his hair was fake. He devoted many resources, and risked public embarrassment, to not only keeping the party in back but also on his head. Other revelations are just as surprising: He hated tennis, despised it with the passion of an 11-year-old imprisoned on a sweltering court with a private coach named Dad. He didn’t much care for his first wife, Brooke Shields. He also did meth — nearly a year’s worth (1997), on an impressive run he capped with a flourish by lying to tennis officials after he failed a drug test, claiming he ingested it flossing his teeth or something. After all that, he won everything on the courts for a while, then opened a K-12 charter school, the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, to get kids into college. Andre Agassi: More complex, and more impressive, than we ever imagined.
Fri., Nov. 20, 6 p.m., 2009

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Michael Leaverton

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