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Former Tennis Player Andrea Jaeger Shows Compassion to Cancer-Stricken Children

She wasn't prepared for the loneliness, either. Drinking and drugs didn't interest her. Nor did steroids, which she says she was offered twice.

"I had no peer group," she said. "My socialization skills were basically me, alone in a room studying, and me growing up in a hotel."

She didn't tell her father the troubling things she saw, fearing he would erupt. In a sense, he ceased being a father once he became her coach.

"We didn't eat dinner together," Jaeger said. "We didn't room together. We didn't do anything together but travel to a match. He told me how to play. After a match, he told me what he thought. That was our communication; I accepted that. The problem was, we did not have a manual on how to be a father and how to be a coach."

Most matches, Jaeger was all fight. She crushed Billie Jean King in the 1983 Wimbledon semifinals after hearing her tell the ball boy that she wouldn't need a towel, explaining, "I don't plan on sweating much."

So Jaeger clocked her, 6-1, 6-1.

There's no guarantee Jaeger would have beaten Martina Navratilova in the women's final that followed. Then the tournament's three-time and defending champion, Navratilova claimed a record nine Wimbledon singles titles before retiring.

Still, Jaeger had won their only previous meeting on grass. Plus, she didn't get rattled in big matches as Navratilova famously did.

But what should have been a compelling match started unraveling the day before, according to Jaeger, who first acknowledged throwing the match to a British newspaper last year.

It started over an empty potato chip bag.

Then 18, Jaeger wasn't allowed to eat potato chips -- and certainly not during the two weeks of a Grand Slam, when her father restricted her diet even further.

So when he found the empty family-size bag stashed in her closet on the eve of the final, he stormed out of the room. Jaeger muttered a curse word, thinking he was out of earshot. He wasn't. Now, she was sure to get disciplined.


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