Like an Atomic Bomb?


INSIDER EXPECTS AGASSI’S OPEN TO BE TOP SELLER: Paul Bogaards is expecting big things from Andre Agassi‘s tell-all book, Open.  Bogaards, the Executive Director of Publicity for the book’s publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, which officially hits the shelves on Nov. 9, says the autobiography is unprecedented in the world of sports.  “I was stunned when I read the book,” said Bogaards.  “It’s an extraordinary autobiography, which the reviews are making abundantly clear.  I’ve never read as candid or self-aware an autobiography as this.  It’s about a life journey and people are going to respond.  I think it’s going to be a best seller.”  As for the explosive reaction to the book’s revelations of drug use, Bogaards said, “Of course, any transgressions are going to be reported immediately by the press.  Now we’re going to see people reporting with perspective.  Now that the book is coming out, people will see the full arc of Andre’s life.”  When we asked Bogaards what Andre would tell his kids, he responded, “This is a book every parent should read.  What Andre has achieved is incredible.  It has to do with dreams, dreams he had to defer.  A lot of parents in America are guilty of putting too much pressure on their kids.”

SAY IT’S NOT SO: Surprise U.S. Open semifinalist Yanina Wickmayer and fellow Belgian Xavier Malisse have been slapped with one-year bans for violating doping restrictions.  Wickmayer had reportedly failed to comply with Anti-Doping Administration requirements, under which athletes are obliged to report their whereabouts at all times…Speaking of illegal substances, Richard Gasquet will go before the Court of Arbitration for Sport next week to discuss his supposedly cocaine-tainted kiss.  The World Anti-Doping Agency and ITF are still pushing for a one- to two-year ban.

EMPTY PROMISE: Is it just us, or did anyone else hear the echo behind Serena Williams‘ hollow words when she said she planned to play Fed Cup against Italy?  Serena asserted, “If I’m walking, then I really want to go. I have to go.”  Of course, she didn’t go.

10 GRAND AIN’T ENOUGH: Aussie Fred Stolle told Joel Drucker, “While there’s no question Serena and Venus have been very good for tennis, there’s no place in the sport for that kind of language. A $10,000 fine isn’t enough. She should be suspended from the first two Grand Slams of next year.”

CHANGE OF VENUE?: Remember when the Yankees threatened to move The House That Ruth Built out of the Bronx?  Or when the St. Louis Cardinals said that if they didn’t get a brand-spanking-new stadium (with luxury boxes to spare) they’d cross the Mississippi and set up digs in Jimmy Connors‘ old stomping ground of East St. Louis, Illinois?  Now the French Tennis Federation is exploring the possibility of pulling Roland Garros out of the Bois de Boulogne in favor of a more expansive footprint.

ONE UP, ONE DOWN: Sam Querrey has finished his rehab and plans to return to the court on Monday…Andy Roddick‘s bum knee will keep him from playing the Paris Masters, which starts Sunday.


$16.5 million: Estimated payoff of Andy Murray‘s five-year deal with adidas (whaddya bet Sam Querrey didn’t get an eighth of that in his new deal with K-Swiss?).

$5,000: Presented to Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Heart Award winner Melanie Oudin, who plans to pass on the money to her charity of choice — Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Pediatric Hospital.

53: Minutes it took for Novak Djokovic to double bagel Czech Jan Hernych at the Swiss Indoors on Thursday.


“Agassi may have just penned one of the best sports autobiographies of all time. Check — it’s one of the better memoirs out there, period.” — Sean Gregory, Time

“This is like [an] atomic bomb.” — Arantxa Sanchez Vicario on Agassi’s meth confession

“He should be stripped of his medal if it is true that he doped and lied about it.  I feel swindled and robbed.” — Sergi Bruguera, who lost to Agassi in the ’96 Olympics final in Atlanta

“It’s shocking.  It is a former champion, and it is not good for the image of the game.” — Roland Garros TD Gilbert Ysern (which makes one wonder: will Double-A ever again be honored at the Slams the way he was this year at RG and the U.S. Open?)