Andrea Jager's fight against harassment
Andrea Jaeger, who won 10 WTA titles, has always said that she retired early –aged only 21– due to a “burn out.” But in 2022, in The Independent, she gave another version: “I never had a problem with pressure. I had a problem trying to keep myself safe and sane at the same time.” She was harassed for years, so much that she used to get dressed in the bathroom. One day, someone cut out her racket strings; she also found razor blades in her shoes. When someone tried to kiss her at the end of a party after forcing her into drinking, she had enough.
She officially retired in 1987. She donated the $1.4M she earnt to charity and launched Little Star, her own foundation. She spent thousands of dollars on toys that she gave to hospitalised children and sold her Mercedes car – “Who needs a Mercedes at the age of 17?”– her watches, and her jewels. She had a ranch built in the mountains near Aspen, Colorado, where she still hosts sick children. “I remember, one day, I had a little girl at home. She was bold due to chemo. She grabbed my bunches and said it must be hard to take care of such long hair. That day, I promised myself that I would dedicate my whole life to helping these kids.” Little Star has been supported by John McEnroe, Pete Sampras, and even Cindy Crawford. It helps 40,000 children suffering from cancer, incurable illness, or sexual harassment every year. In 2006, Jaeger even became Sister Andrea in the US Episcopal Church to keep helping her neighbour. But how does she take care of herself? It is hard to say. In 2019, before the Wimbledon Legends event, Andrea Jaeger refused to get dressed in the dressing room. Again.