Hair we go: Agassi grilled on new body of evidence

June 24, 1993|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Staff Writer

WIMBLEDON, England -- You've got to love the kid. There he is, the defending Wimbledon champion, fresh from his match on Centre Court in the biggest tennis tournament in the world, and Andre Agassi is willing to talk about . . . body hair.

He wants to talk about body hair. He enjoys talking about body hair.

"Wouldn't you?" he said. "Monday, everyone asked me tenniquestions. I thought something was really wrong."

Yesterday, the only question anyone wanted answered was: Hahe been waxed, plucked or shaved?

Agassi, for whom image is everything, is known almost as mucfor his long, flowing blond locks, dark facial stubble and masses of dark hair on the backs of his hands, on his arms and his torso as he is for his tennis.

When he changes his shirts between sets, young women quiveand squeal.

Yesterday, when he lifted and then removed his shirt after thsecond set of his second-round match with Joao Cunha-Silva, he revealed to the screaming mass of fans that his body was nearly, well, hair-free.

"I don't like it," said one teen-age fan in the crowd. "He looked smuch more of a man, much more of a hunk, when he was hairy."

Forget he still played impressively, making mental adjustments,

picking up Cunha-Silva's serve early and then running off a 5-7, 6-3, 6-2, 6-0 victory.

Andre, let's talk about your new, hairless look.

"The hair's not gone, it's right here," he said, pulling on a felingering strands.

But there is so much less of it, said a reporter in a very proper English voice.

"Yes, I guess there is," he said, smiling. "It makes me a little more aerodynamic out there on the courts, you know?"

How did he do it? Why did he do it?

Well, you know, there will be times where -- depending on what my other options are -- I'll do it myself most of the time, but if there are other options, I'll have somebody else do it. But I'm very selective.

"For instance," he said to his English male questioner, "I wouldn't let you do it."

At that point, Wimbledon official Jim Cochrane cut in:

"Could we have a question on tennis, please? Are there any questions on tennis?"

The proper English voice sounded again: Could you just tell us, do you use a razor or waxing? At that point, Cochrane could restrain himself no longer.

"You don't have to answer that," he said to Agassi.

Agassi laughed, wrapped his arm around the official and gave him a little hug. Didn't the official realize this was part of the game? Didn't he know Agassi had entertained himself just the night before by laying all the London tabloids around his bedroom floor and reading what they had to say about him?

I'm having fun with this. Settle down, it's all right," he said to Cochrane. "It's a revolutionary idea on how I do it, because it just keeps it a certain length, and I don't have to remove it entirely. I may even market the idea."

But what is it? Certainly, said the English accent, "You can't send us home without telling us exactly what this revolutionary mystery method of cutting body hair is?"

"It's a secret," Agassi said. "It's not patented yet. But I'll just tell you, it's not painful. That's what makes it special."

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