"Went out drinking with McEnroe and his wife" - When Andre Agassi wore Oakley sunglasses to a Davis Cup match to hide bloodshot eyes from hangover
Andre Agassi is one of the greatest tennis players of all time and had a stellar career with eight Grand Slam singles titles to his name.
Agassi's first Major came in 1992 when he won the Wimbledon Championships by beating Goran Ivanisevic in the final. That year, he was also a part of the United States squad for the Davis Cup.
The Americans faced Argentina in the first round of the tournament's World Group. Agassi won the tie's second match 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 against Alberto Mancini. He was then scheduled to face Martin Jaite in the final match, with the tie already decided.
He revealed that he, along with his then-girlfriend Wendi Stewart, went out drinking with John McEnroe and his wife at the time, Tatum O'Neal. The former World No. 1 wrote in his book, "Open: An Autobiography," that he drank a lot and went to bed at 4 am. He hoped that someone would take his place in what was a meaningless fixture.
The American eventually went out and faced Jaite while being hungover and wore Oakley sunglasses to conceal his bloodshot eyes.
"The night before the last day, Wendi and I go out drinking with McEnroe and his wife, Tatum O’Neal. We overdo it, and I go to bed at four in the morning, assuming someone will take my place on Sunday, in a meaningless match, often called a dead rubber," Andre Agassi wrote.
"Apparently that’s not the case. Though I’m hungover and dehydrated, I need to go out and play Jaite, whose serve I once caught with my hand. To conceal my bloodshot eyes I play wearing Oakley sunglasses, and somehow I play well," he added.
Agassi went on to win the match 7-5, 6-3 to clinch a 5-0 win for the United States. He wrote that he wondered if there was a lesson to be learned while leaving the court and whether he should enter every match hungover.
"I play relaxed. I walk off the court a winner, wondering if there’s a lesson in this. Can I tap this sort of relaxation when the stakes are real, when it’s a slam? Should I just go into every match hungover?" Agassi wrote.
The following week, an image of Agassi wearing his Oakley glasses made it to the cover of Tennis magazine, thus boosting the company's sales.
Agassi claimed that Oakley founder Jim Jannard gifted him with a red Dodge Viper for wearing the company's glasses.
"The next week I find myself on the cover of Tennis magazine, hitting a winner in my Oakley glasses. Hours after the magazine hits the newsstands, Wendi and I are at the bachelor pad when a delivery truck pulls up to the door. We go outside," Andre Agassi wrote.
"'Sign here', the deliveryman says. What is this? Gift. From Jim Jannard, founder of Oakley. The back of the truck comes down, and a red Dodge Viper slowly descends," he added.
Andre Agassi was a part of two Davis Cup-winning squads
Andre Agassi was a part of two Davis Cup-winning squads for the United States, the first being in 1990. That year, the Americans played Australia in the final. Agassi won a thrilling opening match 4-6, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 against Richard Fromberg to give his nation a 1-0.
He also took on Darren Cahill in a fixture that had no meaning as the United States already took an unassailable 3-0 lead. Agassi retired after the end of the second set due to a strain in his right sternum.
The 1992 Davis Cup was the eight-time Grand Slam champion's second title, as he won each of his seven matches throughout the tournament's World Group.
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