October 30, 2009
What is the rest of the tennis world saying about Andre Agassi's admission that he was a habitual user of crystal meth in 1997? Here's a rundown of the thoughts of some of the biggest names in the game, ranging from the forgiving (Andy Roddick) to the furious (Martina Navratilova):
Roger Federer: "It was a shock when I heard the news. I am disappointed and I hope there are no more such cases in future."
Rafael Nadal: "If the ATP covered for Agassi then I think that's dreadful. If they covered for the player and punished others for doing the same kind of thing then that would seem to me to be a lack of respect for all sportsmen ... Now that he is retired, he comes out and says this? It's a way of senselessly damaging the sport."
Serena Williams: "I don't even know what crystal meth is, so, you know, that's what my reaction to it is ... I haven't read anything about Andre Agassi's book. All I know is I have a book coming out. It's called 'On The Line'". [That's gold. -- ed.]
Venus Williams: "I'm sure his book will sell. But I can't say anything about Andre Agassi's life."
Andy Roddick: "Andre is and always will be my idol. I will judge him on how he has treated me and how he has changed the world for (the) better."
Former coach Nick Bollettieri: "I don't condone what he did - I've made mistakes too, but I've done more good than bad ... Let's look at what Andre has done, he funds a school for 400 kids from the inner-city. I know underneath he's a hell of guy."
U.S. Federation Cup captain Mary Joe Fernandez: "It takes a lot of guts and courage to come out and say something that nobody would have really known about. Maybe people can learn from it and not make the same mistakes."
Martina Navratilova: "Shocking. Not as much shock that he did it as shock he lied about it and didn't own up to it. He's up there with Roger Clemens, as far as I'm concerned. He owned up to it (in the book), but it doesn't help now ... Andre lied and got away with it. You can't correct that now. Do you take away a title he wouldn't have won if he had been suspended? He beat some people when he should have been suspended."