Agassi: Between the Lines

If something seems to be missing from the tennis courts in Queens these late-summer days, perhaps a new Andre Agassi retrospective on Tennis Channel might solve the problem.

Debuting September 8, Agassi: Between the Lines chronicles the tennis star’s life from a cocky prodigy at “tennis bootcamp” to his meteoric rise up the world rankings, subsequent plummet, maturation, and return to the elite ranks. Produced and directed by Craig E. Shapiro, the documentary gives ample time to Agassi’s vanity, whether it’s his famous flowing mullets or typically bare torso. But Between the Lines digs a bit deeper, showing how his father, an Iranian boxer, applied boxing lessons to Agassi’s tennis game, and how all-consuming his love of Steffi Graf was long before they married (Agassi refers to it as “borderline stalking”).

Commentary from the likes of John McEnroe, Jim Courier, Mary Carillo and Bud Collins helps paint the picture.

While Agassi might not unearth much info that casual Agassi fans don’t already know, it nonetheless offers a compelling look at the sports hero’s life. Highlights include a young Agassi in a bowl-cut, no higher than the net, smashing powerful volleys, and he and rival Pete Sampras entertaining the crowd mid-match with imitations of each other, including Sampras’ master mimic of Agassi’s pigeon-toed waddle. 

–Michael Malone