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April 25, 2014

'60 Minutes': Andre Agassi Talks Hating Tennis, Hair Plugs, Crystal Meth (VIDEO)

by Donald Deane, posted Nov 9th 2009 11:14AM
In an interview given to Katie Couric on '60 Minutes,' Andre Agassi comes clean on his hatred of tennis due to an overbearing father who wanted to groom him as an athlete from a very young age, a poor self image inspired by the loss of his trademark hair, and the depression that drove him to use crystal meth.

Agassi's father reportedly taped Ping-Pong paddles to his hands when he was a toddler and, at age 7, forced him to practice in front of a specially modified ball machine that lobbed tennis balls at 110 miles per hour. "I think he drove me hard because he drove himself hard," said Agassi. "Tennis was a passion that he had from when he was a little boy himself. He saw it as the quickest road to the American dream for his kid, something that he wanted for his family."

Watch the interview on SlashControl after the jump.In an interview given to Katie Couric on '60 Minutes,' Andre Agassi comes clean on his hatred of tennis due to an overbearing father who wanted to groom him as an athlete from a very young age, a poor self image inspired by the loss of his trademark hair, and the depression that drove him to use crystal meth.

Agassi's father reportedly taped Ping-Pong paddles to his hands when he was a toddler and, at age 7, forced him to practice in front of a specially modified ball machine that lobbed tennis balls at 110 miles per hour. "I think he drove me hard because he drove himself hard," said Agassi. "Tennis was a passion that he had from when he was a little boy himself. He saw it as the quickest road to the American dream for his kid, something that he wanted for his family."

Because of his father's efforts to drive Agassi to be a winning tennis player, Agassi developed a dislike for the sport that bordered on a "dark secret passion" and says tennis always "came with a level of anxiety. It always came with a level of pressure. None of it really made sense to me. I don't ever remember not hating it."

Later in life, Agassi began to lose the distinctive long hair he had become synonymous with and got a hair weave at the age of 17. Agassi says he lost his first Grand Slam final at the French Open in 1990 due to fears his wig would come undone; prior to the match, his hair piece had fallen apart and required bobby pins to stay together.

According to Agassi, depression over his poor performance in tennis at the time and his failing marriage caused him to turn to crystal meth and abuse the drug for almost a year. Agassi: "I was looking for anything to make me get off the couch, to make me re-engage in life."

Watch Andre Agassi's interview on '60 Minutes' via SlashControl

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