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Friday, November 14, 2003

Boris Becker did drugs, and we should be surprised? 

So in the next excerpt in his autobiography, Boris cops to being hooked on all sorts of pills during his heyday. Um, didn't everyone read John Feinstein's absolutely fabulous (and of course, sadly out of print) book HARD COURTS? Published in '91, it chronicles a year in the life of the tennis circuit, for both the men and women. Not only was 1990 a pivotal year, but it was a time when Becker was very much in the throes of an identity crisis--a few years removed from phenom-ville but fresh off his US Open win in 1989. He was moody, depressive, and still very, very young. Though as I recall it, the issue of pill-popping was never explicitly said, Feinstein sure implied something was going on, especially as "something wasn't quite right" with Becker when he lost to Stefan Edberg at Wimbledon that year.

Anyway, HARD COURTS is well worth reading. Things haven't changed all that much in the intervening years--the agents still rule the tournaments, there's a lot of money thrown around, and the players are still under tremendous pressures.

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