Andre Agassi can be added to the list of folks who don’t like polarizing New York Daily News columnist Mike Lupica. In Agassi’s new book – which comes out tomorrow – the retired tennis star twice brings up issues he had with the lilliputian Lupica. A reader who works in a bookstore and has already read the book sent us the two surprising passages where Agassi takes a shot at Lupica.
“While we’re waiting for the food we riffle through a stack of New York newspapers. I see Lupica’s column is about me. I shouldn’t read it but I do. He writes that the U.S. Open is mine to lose, but you can count on the fact that I will find a way to lose it … Agassi simply isn’t a champion.”
Agassi eventually reads the column to his trainer, Gil Reyes.
Agassi writes: “Gil looks up and sees me turning white.”
Reyes asks, “What’s wrong?”
Agassi writes: “I read him the column. I’d like to meet that Lupica one day.”
Agassi’s beef with Lupica seemed to begin in 1989, according to the book, when Agassi defeated Connors at the US Open. Lupica, it was known a the time, was in the tank for Jimmy Connors:
“MIke Lupica, a columnist for the New York Daily News, points to my nineteen unforced errors in the third set and says I carried Connors merely to prove I was tough enough to go the distance. If they’re not trashing me for losing on purpose, they’re ragging me for the way I win.”
Lupica would go on to poke fun at Agassi in Esquire Magazine in the 1990s – some might say he was doing so in an effort to remind everyone that Connors was a better, classier champion. Agassi joins Charles Barkley as the most outspoken members of the anti-Lupica fan club.