He is one of the most beloved athletes in history and one of the most gifted men ever to step onto a tennis court - but from early childhood Andre Agassi hated the game.
Coaxed to swing a racket while still in the crib, forced to hit hundreds of balls a day while still in grade school, Agassi resented the constant pressure even as he drove himself to become a prodigy, an inner conflict that would define him. Now, in his beautiful, haunting autobiography, Agassi tells the story of a life framed by such conflicts.
Agassi makes us feel his panic as an undersized seven-year-old in Las Vegas, practicing all day under the obsessive gaze of his violent father. We see him at 13, banished to a Florida tennis camp. Lonely, scared, a ninth-grade dropout, he rebels in ways that will soon make him a 1980s icon. 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, and 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.
Alongside vivid portraits of rivals, Agassi gives unstinting accounts of his brief time with Barbra Streisand and his doomed marriage to Brooke Shields. He reveals the depression that shatters his confidence, and the mistake that nearly costs him everything.
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.
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.
©2009 Harper Collins; (P)2009 Harper Collins
Amazingly the first time I was going to buy this book I thought twice. Should I really go for it??? Is it really something I want to read? some Tennis Player talking about Tennis and boring me to death. I mean what the hell will Andre Agassi write about and can the guy actually write?
Surprisingly, I was shocked. I found Andre to really have a way with words and he also had me glued from Page 1.
“Open” looks into the life and struggles of Andre Agassi and the sport he actually hated more than anything in the world and how ironically he ended having it as a career. It looks into his relationship with his father, his marriage to the beautiful Brook Shields and his antics to win the heart of Stephie Graf.
The book is really worth it and has a number of subliminal messages in it. The biggest hidden message or a moral if you would like to call it is don't give up on life and that anything is possible. Agassi did everything he hated but managed to get everything he set his mind to. Some people may call it luck. I call it dedication.
My personal opinion of Andre Agassi before reading this book was that he was a total show off which actually made me hate the guy’s guts. After reading the book, I found out that people just did not understand the man and his beliefs.
I truly admire the man now after reading this book. Hats off to you Andre.
A captivating book from Cover to end. Do get it and enjoy.
A tennis fan, I have been for many years. However, this splendidly narrated book was an unexpected account of Agassi's career. It became the story of a young man seeking his own path in life. Tennis becomes something of an allegory for how we discover who we are, and who we need to help us with this process of discovery. Over decades, the cruelly dominant father and the brilliant son go through the largely painful process of discovering that this tempestuous tennis career has been an instrument for the father's own fulfillment and that Agassi is unwittingly sacrificing himself to achieve this.
This beautifully modulated autobiography evokes sympathy, admiration and mixed feelings when Agassi is hauled into episodes of profound confusion and mixed morality. The self discipline and focus of a champion is reflected in the structure and there is music and balance in the language.
Those who have followed his career will be glad he wrote it.
What is most intriguing is that Agassi continually reiterates his main (and much publicised) theme which is that he hates tennis. But what emerges is that tennis is just a word for what he doesn't like about himself. Happiness will draw him into a more comfortable and direct relationship with the game.
I was expecting this just to be another sports biography with the usual tales. What I heard was a remarkable story of a childhood lost and a hatred for the world of tennis. It is a fascinating life, very well told with mostly a lack of bitterness. Well told Andre and good to hear your true nature shine through in the end.
Discovering the Power of Reading by Listening !
The struggles behind the success of Agassi makes it worth every word.
Perhaps other sports autobiographies.
I loved the way Erik has interpreted the voice of the man whom Agassi recruited as his motivational coach who apparently had just written a book. The scene that unfolds in the hotel before recruiting him is cool. I also love all his pursuits of Steffi.
SLAM - ed
Thank you for a wonderful experience. Since I have played the game and I hate reading books, this experience was tailor made for me.
To relive the rebel tennis star's story but this time according to him and not according to my own perspective.
I love you André! Always have, always will!
Nice soothing voice to listen too.
And then there was Pete, always Pete!
I really loved listening to Andre's story! Thanks for sharing your life with us André!
Psychology and Biology nerd. Chemistry enthusiast. Fan of good research-based science books, comedies and crime.
This is one of the best books I've heard or read.
There's a lot to love about this story. I was not a particularly fervent fan of tennis or Agassi in particular, but this was an excellent story that really gives you an appreciation of the very normal, very human aspects of those in elite competition. To hear how many people who make their work look effortless are battling every day was a revelation.
A story of hating tennis. By one of its greats.
Hearing someone else put the inner battle into words does something. It's not something you can put your finger on immediately. It slides it's way into your life long after you've finished listening to it's voice.
The art of doing something that you don't like or even hate, for ANOTHER REASON is what I call intelligent success.
I'm glad he kept his cool with Boris Becker. That is inner strength.
Agassi taught much in this read even if he didn't really intend to. To me, every time I sat and listened to more, it was like rowing a boat along a very scenic river called Character, with all its ups and downs. You don't need to be a tennis fan to read or listen to this one as Agassi doesn't spend too much time on the actual matches. Absolutely loved it because I was able to see parts of the human character so much clearer and I just really enjoyed spending time with Andre Agassi.
"Get the full version"
Good story, but the abridged version leaves out too much detail that you find in the book.
"Best sports autobiography ever"
Yes was by far the best sport autobiography about, I dont like tennis either. Just buy it. A great listen.
Good story, fairly short and to the point but I enjoyed the journey with somebody that never sounds truly happy.
"Amazing sweet and sour story"
Few months ago I could beat him with a spatula..
Very funny and moving. Amazing narrative and good warm voice.
"Agassi autobiography holds up to expectations"
I bought both the print and audio version. Since I started listening to the audiobook I put down the paperback. The narrator is great, really easy listening and keeps the story interesting throughout.
Agassi has some close friends and coaches who are characters who bring out the best and worst in him. He truthfully exposes some of their secrets and how it affected his life in goth a positive and negative way
Agassis father - he comes across the over critical most tormenting of characters.
Gill - a real long time friend and colleague of Andre.
I listened to it each day and looked forward to it every time
A very honest and truthful book which helps unlock the inner Agassi. A worthwhile read for any father, who thinks they know how to prepare their child for a life in sport.
I loved it that Agassi and steffi both see tennis as a lifelong struggle which has eventually given them an opportunity to help others.
The battle with Sampras is like a repetitive talisman for Agassi. Some great stories especially the measly dollar tip.
I have recommended this book to all my friends.
"This Book's a Smash!"
I felt the story was revealed to me in heartfelt chunks
I liked how Andre found redemption through helping others.
Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag!
A very frank portrayal of Andre's life and how he lived with a father who conditioned him, but whom he still obviously loves, and a spinal condition which humbles you if you even have a sniffle.
I loved Andre whilst he was still on the circuit and had no idea of his personal demons as did anyone? His love for Steffi is heartwarming and I am so glad he is now in a happier time of his life.
A must read for any fan.
"No Sugar Coating here !"
If you think this is typical sports book-forget it ! I had always been a fan of Andre Agassi and thought I knew most things about him-Yes he had won all 4 Tennis Majors - Yes he was flamboyant- Yes he is married to Steffi Graf. These however only cover a tiny part of his incredible life story. He is brutally honest on the people who have changed and molded him to the person he is now, but he is himself own harshest critic.He has been through so much but finally realizes that he has to find inner peace to be happy. Outstanding listen and well worth buying.
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