Author: Andre Agassi
Goodreads Rating: 4.08
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
Pages: 388 Pages
I borrowed this book from my boyfriend while he was studying abroad and I was determined to finish it before he came back (mostly so I could give it back and have more bookshelf space). I also really like tennis and before college I went to the US Open often. I was excited to get into the head of an amazing tennis player and it was an interesting trip for sure.
Synopses from Goodreads.com:
From Andre Agassi, one of the most beloved athletes in history and one of the most gifted men ever to step onto a tennis court, a beautiful, haunting autobiography.
Agassi’s incredibly rigorous training begins when he is just a child. By the age of thirteen, he is banished to a Florida tennis camp that feels like a prison camp. Lonely, scared, a ninth-grade dropout, he rebels in ways that will soon make him a 1980s icon. He dyes his hair, pierces his ears, dresses like a punk rocker. By the time he turns pro at sixteen, his new look promises to change tennis forever, as does his lightning-fast return.
And yet, despite his raw talent, he struggles early on. We feel his confusion as he loses to the world’s best, his greater confusion as he starts to win. After stumbling in three Grand Slam finals, Agassi shocks the world, and himself, by capturing the 1992 Wimbledon. Overnight he becomes a fan favorite and a media target.
Agassi brings a near-photographic memory to every pivotal match and every relationship. Never before has the inner game of tennis and the outer game of fame been so precisely limned. Alongside vivid portraits of rivals from several generations—Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer—Agassi gives unstinting accounts of his brief time with Barbra Streisand and his doomed marriage to Brooke Shields. He reveals a shattering loss of confidence. And he recounts his spectacular resurrection, a comeback climaxing with his epic run at the 1999 French Open and his march to become the oldest man ever ranked number one.
In clear, taut prose, Agassi evokes his loyal brother, his wise coach, his gentle trainer, all the people who help him regain his balance and find love at last with Stefanie Graf. Inspired by her quiet strength, he fights through crippling pain from a deteriorating spine to remain a dangerous opponent in the twenty-first and final year of his career. Entering his last tournament in 2006, he’s hailed for completing a stunning metamorphosis, from nonconformist to elder statesman, from dropout to education advocate. And still he’s not done. At a U.S. Open for the ages, he makes a courageous last stand, then delivers one of the most stirring farewells ever heard in a sporting arena.
With its breakneck tempo and raw candor, Open will be read and cherished for years. A treat for ardent fans, it will also captivate readers who know nothing about tennis. Like Agassi’s game, it sets a new standard for grace, style, speed, and power.
Review after the jump:
I kinda liked this book, but only kinda. I felt that it didn't warrant a full 4 stars because it wasn't that well written and that while I do love tennis and have a basic understanding of it, i don't know all of the terms and so I felt a little lost as what he meant. I also felt that some matches that he was describing would just drag on and I would lose interested. Other matches, however, I couldn't stop reading needing to know what happened.
I felt that the book starting with his last game was a great, knowing where he ends and then going back to the beginning offered a really awesome perspective as he pursued his wife and worked from being a child and grew into a world champion. I learned a lot about tennis and how ranking and the sport works as well as interesting facts about Agassi. Such as that he hated tennis and yet it was his life.
One of the things that caused a huge controversy about this book was that it came out that he used drugs while playing tennis. While I understand that this is wrong, and against all of the rules that exist for professional tennis players, I don't see why people freaked out about it. I'm not sure if maybe he just downplayed it in his book or it it wasn't that big a deal, but it didn't seem like much.
I got to discuss this book with my boyfriend who is a tennis player and he mentioned how much Agassi seems to whine in this book. And I realized that he does do a lot of complaining about how people didn't like him and how much he hated tennis and how sad he was about Brooke. I do think that he complained an awful lot, but I can't hold that against him since thats what I do all the time.
He was a total baby about his relationship with Brooke Shields as far as I am concerned. I think that his freak out over her scene in Friends was completely childish-expecially when he went home and trashed his trophies. No other moments in the book really stood out other than him meeting his wife which was adorable how he tried to get her long before they even got together.
I was kind of annoyed by the lack of quotation marks because I couldn't tell where talking began and ended in some parts but not many. It was a really interesting look into the life of a tennis megastar, so I would recommend it if you were ever curious what it was like to be the number one tennis player in the world then this is a great book to check out. It was a little slow at the start when he was talking about being younger and playing, but once he started to talk about playing in tournaments it get a lot faster paced.