I arrived in San Jose last night for today’s event at the HP Arena, a place I’ve played a few ATP tournaments in before. I’m ready to go up against Andre tonight in the semis for the first time of the season. I’m feeling pretty match tough now but Andre is the fittest guy out here so I’m expecting him to run me around quite a bit tonight. Johnny Mac and Todd Martin are in the other semi so it’s going to be a great night.
Andre and I participated in a stunt for ABC’s Good Morning America last week during the NYC tournament at the Garden with GMA anchor Josh Elliot spearheading a revenge based “gotcha” moment on his co-anchor Lara Spencer. Lara loves tennis and the premise was that she would film a segment on her passion, tennis, to air on GMA while what was really happening was Josh directing a conspiracy to provoke her. I was cast as the bad cop, with Andre playing the good cop, and my orders were direct…play mixed doubles with Lara against Andre and one of her bet friends and I was to get upset at Lara and have a meltdown due to her poor playing. One of the challenges was that Lara played very well and it is awfully tough to conjure up anger (fake or real) when you are winning. We got there in the end and you can watch the results here (http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/andre-agassi-jim-courier-josh-elliott-punk-lara-17706940)
I must admit it was more challenging than I expected to be the bad boy out there. I long ago learned to control my temper (relative to its natural state) so it was awkward to have to force it to reappear out there and also to not start laughing at any point (and how Andre kept it together while I was throwing rackets, cursing, stomping around, etc. I will never know). In the end, Josh got his revenge for Lara’s spoof on him a few months back. Lara was a good sport about it all, thankfully.
After tonight we move on to Las Vegas and then there will be just two events remaining (Denver and Anaheim). Mac and I are in a dog fight for the #1 ranking so these last events are extremely important. It’s put up or shut up time.