Agassi's incredibly rigorous training begins when he is just a child. By the age of 13, 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 16, 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.
With its breakneck tempo and raw candor, Open will be listened to and cherished for years. A treat for ardent fans, it will also captivate listeners who know nothing about tennis. Like Agassi's game, it sets a new standard for grace, style, speed, and power.
©2009 Andre Agassi; (P)2009 Random House
I have been a tennis fan for a number of years and was eager to listen to this audiobook.
I got the abridged version because I thought the complete version would be too long and I would get tired of it, but there are some great stories, and I'm left wanting more.
My advice is get the full version, if you are a tennis fan I think you will enjoy it.
Andre writes an amazingly honest & clear picture of himself. Funny, heart-breaking & without a sense of self. His recollections of matches, relationships & events in his life, are written in photographic detail. You can tell by the cover picture alone, that this a person who wants to tell their story, from the heart & not the ego.
I was a moderate fan of Agassi but am now a real fan of the successes he had had off the court with his school, etc.
Good detail on his inner thoughts and exciting descriptions of important games.
Added drama and passion to descriptions of games.
Being burnt out on tennis at an early age but still playing was an interesting theme. It was relatable because I became burnt out on football in highschool/college, but still had to play because it paid for school. It was great hearing him discuss this dynamic.
Hearing his experiences with sports crazed parents/coaches, especially at a young age, makes this book easy to relate with. Especially with the state of youth sports and overbearing parents.
This book is not for tennis lovers. Andre hates tennis, as many college players do. Tennis is the one sport more than any other that burns out more athletes than any other- which is sad because it's a lifetime sport. This novel is brilliantly sad but more so highly entertaining. So much about Andre that is absolutely fascinating. Tennis fan/player or not, this novel is amazing.
I really enjoyed the listen, and got through it in 3 days. I should have gone for the Unabridged version, as I would have liked to delve deeper -- Maybe I still will down the road. I recommend!!
The story is fine, but it becomes too long. Got fed up at about 3/4, because at a certain point it's just about game's results and tournament progressions. Nothing on the off court environment, business relationships, or behind the scenes events. Also, description of flirts with Stefi is somewhat infantile. Still, nice to learn how it costs to be a Tennis legend, how Agassi begun, his worries, dramas and joys. I became a bigger fan after hearing the book...
Loved the book, already read it - got this because it was free and I wanted to have it available to me to listen to - because the book was THAT good. I do not like who they chose to read the book. Would've preferred Andre himself. The voice is not one that represents Andre well - and am disappointed in that. Especially being in the business of voice over - this voice does not captivate me. Luckily - the subject matter is one that is near and dear to my heart - so, I'll manage.
I feel like a learned a lot about him and it's all very good. You tend to forget these are real people with real life issues. I also had forgotten how far back his tennis career reached. The best thing about the book is that what you likely thought about him is not at all accurate. Very interesting.
In summary, this is a great listen and a reminder of what it is to be human, regardless of what you do or aim to do in your life. You don't have to be a tennis player or a sports nut to appreciate the peaks and valleys of Agassi's life, and those who affected and were effected by him. In the end you may walk away with a new understanding -- or a reminder -- that giving to others may be the best play you can make; that, as humans, we seem to wallow in our negative moments far longer than we savor our greatest accomplishments (and we should change this action); and that we all make mistakes.
I particularly enjoyed Agassi's retelling of reaching a goal, a long-fought for goal, only to wonder why in his moment of accomplish, the feeling of success was rather fleeting, paled in comparison to what he imagined the feeling--the feeling of triumph--would be; he soon refocused on his next objective. Perhaps, you can relate to this? I think many individuals will and can.
It was also humorous to learn that a woman as stunning as Brooke Shields found it useful to post a picture of another woman on her refrigerator to motivate her to 'get into wedding shape.' Yes, you've read this correctly: Brooke Shields felt the need to do this. Again, the human side of the book is exposed.
Enjoy the listen. D
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