Andre Agassi Causes A Stir

In his new book, Open”, Andre Agassi reveals quite a few personal things.  At different points in the book he states that he hated tennis, that his famous long hair was actually fake, and that he used the drug crystal meth throughout much of 1997.  He even failed a drug test, but lied to ATP officials saying he ingested the drug on accident and wasn’t suspended.  Once this news broke, there was a little backlash from some current players who faced Agassi during his career.  One player, former #1 player Marat Safin, went as far as to say that Agassi should forfeit his tournament titles and return his winnings to the ATP.

I’m not a huge tennis fan; I enjoy watching the Majors and I generally just pull for the Americans.  Hearing about Agassi’s struggles hasn’t changed my opinion of him at all.

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Wrapping Things Up

Weller took off for Jacksonville to go on a much needed sabbatical.  Maybe it wasn’t much needed, but he’s going anyway.  I’m docking his pay accordingly.  Anyway, this means that you’re stuck with me for then next week or so.  Sorry mock draft fans, you’ll have to wait a while (this may be a lie, we’ll see).  Since I don’t have anything to write about at the moment, I’m going to use this post to tie up a couple things and maybe give you a preview of some upcoming posts.

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Star Caliber Departures

The last two days have been huge in women’s sports. Yesterday, Annika Sorenstam announced her retirement from golf effective at the end of the year. Sorenstam is arguably the greatest female golfer in history winning 72 LPGA events including 10 majors in her 14 year career. She cited her wish to settle down and start a family as one reason for the decision. I can understand that, as she really doesn’t have anything else to prove on LPGA tour and while she has played in a men’s tournament, she never really expressed any interest in playing against the men on a regular basis.

The problem for the LPGA is that they are losing their biggest star and really their only marketing tool. The LPGA tour will turn to players like Lorena Ochoa, who is currently ranked #1 in the world rankings; 21-year-old Paula Creamer, #4; and 19-year-old Morgan Pressel, #15, to become the torch bearers for their organization. It will be interesting to follow the situation next season once “Life After Annika” begins.

One day after Sorenstam’s departure another female star announced that she would also being leaving her sport. Justine Henin, the #1 ranked female tennis player, announced that she would be retiring effective immediately. The 25-year-old cited “burn out” as her reason for stepping aside.

Henin won 7 Grand Slam titles and spent more than 100 weeks at #1, but I feel like she will be easily replaced. While she was a big star in the world of tennis, she was far behind players like the Williams Sisters and Maria Sharapova. Unlike Sorenstam, Henin did not single-handedly carry her sport into mainstream coverage. There will be another Justine Henin, just like there was another Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, Jennifer Capriati, etc.

Hopefully for the LPGA, they can turn to one of their young, rising stars to take over and dominate the sport, but I’m not sure they have one just yet. The LPGA may suffer for the next few years while their stars battle to decide who is the brightest. This is a big time for them, but if they play their cards right, they can make their sport much better than it was before.

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