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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 autobiographyAgassi’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 targetAgassi 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 oneIn 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 uiet 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 US Open for the ages he makes a courageous last stand then delivers one of the most stirring farewells ever heard in a sporting arenaWith 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


10 thoughts on “Open An Autobiography

  1. says:

    My old editor always said that I should try to write like anyone it should be JR Moehringer So when this book came out even though I'm a sub par tennis player I was excited The second piece of information that made me want to read this book was Jara's review After finishing this I appreciate Agassi as a human than a tennis player That got me really curious A couple things that stood out to me after reading this Agassi loses a lot Over and over and over Yes there are the few sweet rushes of relief when he finally defeats Becker and wins various grand slams but the predominant motif seems to be about loss And of course getting back up again After reading this book I respect him most for his tenacity and for his ability to thrash his way forward even though he has no idea who he is as a person for much of the book I was also impressed by his ability to tinker with his own winning formula Agassi never seemed to loiter he was always adjusting his team and his techniue as he pursued his goals He's obviously a formidable competitor but it's interesting to see what traits regardless of whether he liked tennis or not helped him move forward I love his originality his ability to remain true to his essence and his kind heart If I had to choose between Sampras and Agassi to invite to a dinner party it would be Agassi any day


  2. says:

    Finished Open last night I realize I'm way late to the party this book having come out in Nov '09 but I'm not really a non fiction book reader I'm still very glad to have read this Andre's story Why should I or we care? Why should anyone at all tennis fan or not care about Andre Agassi's life let alone buy his book? Because this isn't just the story of a tennis player or just a story at all Andres life covers a lot of real estate both literally and figuratively From Las Vegas to the great cities of the world From obscure beginnings to dining and dancing and romancing with the world's rich and famous A struggle played out in the most public of ways laid on the big stage of life for all to see Behind the classic court side battles were personal ones deeper struggles ones we all face And at the end of the day like Andre' we all hope to chalk up wins than losses and to have left it all on the court to not have been able to fight harder than we did Such is this story Certainly a reluctant and uncomfortable hero but a hero none the less Not bad all from hitting a fuzzy neon colored ball Ok now that we're past the obvious stuff let's get down to it I recall many times watching Andre play on the tennis court sometimes winning sometimes losing Most of the time it was clear he was giving his all others not so clear Always cheering for him no matter what I look back on those memories wishing I knew then what I know now If I had I would have been his biggest fan bar none In many ways on a lot of levels Andre became the poster boy of overcoming adversity both physical and emotional for many people around the world including me He himself may not have we may not have shared in the complete knowledge of this during his great career but instinctively I believe millions knew I know I did How else can you explain the love so many some of whom weren't even really tennis fans had for this kid and still do? No this is so much than a story of a tennis player It's a true life tale of what it's all about and the bonus the frosting on a very large cake is that it has a happy ending An ending that will go on for generations and never really end The good the bad and the ugly It's all here Truthfully told by a reluctant superstar with the heart of a lion and the soul of a champion I can't recommend this book enough You will reflect on your own life all the way back to the beginning The wins the losses the highs and the lows in life are best faced full on with focus and being ready to return serve Hit harder I started Open last night not sure what to expect Immediately I was struck by Andre's wit intelligence and determination to put down his story in the clearest and most truthful terms This book is much than just another auto bio from a celebrity athlete though that certainly is a major element within it but it's a razor sharp articulate full throttle story of one of the greatest athletes of our time and his fearless narration of life in his shoes So far I am gripped at 50 or so pages in by Andre's brutal honesty and unflinching candor It's almost as if he's looking at himself along with us as he speaks about his views and thoughts on his storied career and life personally and professionally His ability to recall detail of events from his entire 36 years his career and his deepest thoughts is absolutely amazing If you like me have seen this book listed online or stood gazing at the startling cover photo on the book rack at the store and wondered if it would be worth buying well DON'T WONDER I'm telling you it IS Listen to me I'm a hardcore action thriller fan writer and reader Rarely do I read non fic let alone auto bio anything and I'm a hard sell when it comes to celeb's talking about themselves in any capacity since I myself grew up in pro sports and showbiz in and around this type of individual The first thing that'll hit you is his intelligence level and transparent honest sense of himself a very rare combo for an athlete or celebrity of his caliber Yet there is also an innocent unawareness of himself Andre doesn't see when he looks in the mirror that will make your heart break for him and scream your head off cheering for him just like we did when he was playing You'll see parts of yourself in him and parts of him in you and it'll kick your assStay tuned Agassi fans soon about this riveting book


  3. says:

    Open was too long but it was entertaining It was sold as a tell all but didn't feel as though he said anything groundbreaking besides that he was insecure about basically everything in his life He only does drugs once and he was pressured into doing so which is very different than what the media made this book out to be when it was released Don't read this book if you think you are going to be blown away but do read it if you love Andre and want to know about him


  4. says:

    I have a checkered past with Andre Agassi Having been a fan of pro tennis since I was a kid I was intrigued with Agassi when he debuted on the tour I'll even admit to owning a pair of those denim shorts but somewhere along the way something went astray and it took to the last couple of years of his career for me to re warm up to him Contributing to that personal opinion decline was observing him behind the scenes when I dabbled as a tennis writerphotographer for in the mid late 1990s which now we know was among his most troubled personal and professional timesSo while I went into this book with a somewhat rehab'd personal opinion of Agassi by the end of it I found most of my warm and fuzzy feelings about him had come undone and sadly even wife Steffi Graf also suffers some collateral damage While I now better understand some of the reasons why Agassi was such a troubled soul after getting out under the thumb of his father and banking tens of millions the I hate tennis mantra gets a bit insincere During his press tour for this book I sensed Agassi had somewhat of an epiphany about his life but I really did not find it in these pages He said he wrote this book for his children and also speaks of The Code of Respect that each student of his charter school in Vegas commits to memory But again after reading page after page of Agassi calling linespeople some very nasty things consistently petty and often mean spirited stories about his fellow players and gleefully courting ha Steffi Graf one month after separating not yet divorced from first wife Brooke Shields and not expressing much if any remorse or regret about his actions other than blanket statements like I made mistakes or calling himself a contradiction is all terribly convenient and left me a bit coldAgassi is indeed open in this book though I would argue he does so in a selective manner and while I can respect his on court accomplishments and certainly his charitable contributions in the end I did not find him to be a terribly like able person As far as separating the book from the man is that possible? while I raced through the book I still have yet to find a tennis memoir that successfully can recount a tennis match something I struggled with during my years of tennis journalism I also had high hopes for a literary uality to it as it was ghostwritten by Pulitzer Prize winner JR Moehringer whose own memoir The Tender Bar I so enjoyed but while a step up from some it is still a fairly straight upstandard tennis autobiography I know folks are finding this memoir uite inspirational revelatory honest but going into this knowing Agassi's story too well and from many different anglesperspectives I had to take much of this book with the proverbial grain of salt


  5. says:

    One of the best sports biographies I've read I was a huge Agassi fan growing up not because of his flair or haircut but because of his amazing topspin and his tenacity So to get the inside story on where he got both of those was fascinating The first thing to realize about Agassi is that like many tennis players he got good then bad then really bad then good then bad then good etc In other words he loses A lot But the fascinating part of his story is what motivates him to keep going Because as he says he hates tennis Full disclosure I don't fully believe him when he says that I think at a level he likes the game and winning But his motivation switches over the years from wanting to please his dad to wanting to get to the top to needing to find new motivation in his team and ultimately with his charitable work I love how in the end his comeback is motivated by wanting to win for his center to be able to give to the kids that's fascinating cool and admirableAnother interesting aspect of Andre is how loyal he is to his team to Gil to his coach his wife etc He needs them for confidence and for strength for emotional strength than physical in a way that was striking He makes a lot of statements likeThis is why we’re here To fight through the pain and when possible to relieve the pain of others So simple So hard to seeThe romance of his decade long chase of Steffi Graff was fascinating to read about and in the end incredibly romantic as well The notion that he had such a crush on her from the beginning and chased her for that long was well sweet And then there was this gem of prose describing their first rally togetherA ball feels different off every player’s racket—there are minute but concrete subtleties of force and spin Now hitting with her I feel her subtleties It’s like touching her though we’re forty feet apart Every forehand is foreplayBut then it ends as we all know with a happy end to his career and an even happier beginning of his relationship with SteffiTo my mind being with the right woman is true happiness After all the time I’ve spent putting together my so called team the only thing I want now is to feel like a valued member of Stefanie’s team


  6. says:

    50 I want you to read this bookOh my goodness this was one of my favorite reading experiences ever I'm not sure I can objectively explain it but I laughed I nearly cried my palms sweated I was just riveted ask my wife This memoir is so well written Agassi gave effusive praise to JR Moehringer who helped him record his history and transform it into this masterpiece and I'm sure much of the credit must go to him that I just couldn't handle it It is such an emotional ride perhaps only 001% of what it's like to actually be a professional athlete that every free moment I had I wanted to return to Andre worldI can't tell you how many times I laughed out loud while reading this The coincidences the juxtapositions the ironies the cute courtshipsThere was humor in so many forms It was all so sincere though I guess that's what struck me the most How open honest and sincere the book feels And given what he reveals in it I have little reason to believe that anything is exaggerated stretched or glossed overBut it's just so well written I never had to guess who he was referring to at any point He made so many connections between points in his life but they were effortless to recall and connect I've just never been able to follow a narrative so effortlessly feeling I was completely on top of everything going on past and present It was just such a pleasure to read even aside from the actual events taking placeOne interesting typographical note at least in the ePUB version I read There was no use of uotation marks to set off dialog Without having read the book I would've thought this was insanity and ridiculed anyone playing any sort of editorial role in the productionbut it totally works I can't explain it but it probably comes back to how perfectly written the book is


  7. says:

    While browsing my next buy I had stumbled upon this one a number of times before I finally decided to buy and read it last week Time and money well spent So what is the book about? First it is not a story of a flawless man or an impeccable athlete It is one of a confused rebellious and an ever evolving man in search of himself who by the way plays great tennis Second it is also not a blow by blow account of tennis matches But a diary of his love hate relationship with tennis; where he plays not because he loves tennis but he cannot live with a defeat It is a narrative of his innermost thoughts process at moments that affected him; and not just the ones on the tennis court Beautifully written and brutally honest After reading the book I say he is a Phoenix burning himself down and rising from his own ashes


  8. says:

    When Agassi first wins prize money he phones his father to ask what he should do If he cashes the cheue it will mean he's turning pro His father's response is harsh but also true You've dropped out of school You have an eighth grade education What are your choices? What the hell else are you going to do? Be a doctor? So he turns pro at a young age without an education and proceeds to make many mistakes before he eventually puts his life together marries Steffi Graf and invests in his communityMuch of the book is about his tense relationship with the media When Agassi agrees to be in an advertisement with the slogan image is everything the media turn it into the story of Andre Agassi How dare they He did not choose the slogan image is everything or even understand it Sorry but doesn't that imply that the slogan is well chosen for him? Agassi turns pro and it seems that overnight he becomes a celebrity because he is brash and handsome Even reading the story of his career from his perspective it's hard to see a lot character than a strange haircut denim shorts and precocious talent It is not until well into his adulthood that he begins to realize what it takes to put substance above image If the media missed the mark I'm not sure they missed by muchIt is nevertheless gratifying when he achieves a balance Many of the people in Agassi's life come across very well He marries Brooke Shields who seems great even if the marriage doesn't last Steffi Graf also seems great I also loved the scene when he first sits down with his coach Brad who bombs a few beers while tearing apart Agassi's game Many of Agassi's rivals come across admirably especially Pete Sampras His father and his father in law hilariously get into a boxing match when they first meet To be honest the only person who comes across like a bit of a shmuck is Agassi which may be one reason people so often praise Open The brashness matures into a confident and expressive memoir that is easy to respect in 2020 which has become an age of commercials for athletes posing as documentaries about athletesThe other reason people so often praise Open is JR Moehringer who ghostwrote the book Although I worry that hiring a fancy New York writer to write your autobiography does not show a lot of substance the book works And I suspect many sport and business books actually are ghostwritten I see on JR Moehringer's wikipedia page that he wrote contributed? Shoe Dog but he's not mentioned on the wikipedia page for the book Nor is he credited here on Goodreads I dislike the ambiguity of ghostwriting though I suppose it helps writers to pay the billsRegardless Moehringer's depictions of tennis matches struck me a person who does not really follow tennis at all as electric Moehringer always praises the opponent and then we learn that Agassi has secretly kept up or has even won the match—this approach hooked me every time If in doubt I recommend reading the opening chapter


  9. says:

    I am not into tennis at all but read this book back to back with Lang Lang's memoires Journey of a Thousand Miles Why? Here are the stories of two men whose childhoods were taken away from them by their ambitious fathers who wanted their children to become Number One How each one reacted to their fate was what interested me Once rich an famous both men have done so much for younger generations one through his charter school the other through his foundation Very touching indeed I must say that I found Agassi's book very captivating thanks to Moehringer' superb writing style and learned a thing or two about tennis as well


  10. says:

    In case you didn't know and if you don't know then I probably need to post Yuzu stuff again I'm a huge sports fan And just to be clear and completely honest I'm the kind of fan who wakes up at 7 on a Sunday to watch a competion with an unreliable streaming I'm the kind of fan who plans to stay up 'til 3 am to watch the Olympics this yearI shout at the tv I torture my family with my distress when my favourite athletes loseI made them watch swimming diving figure skating football fencing tennis and who knows what else multiple times At my house the Olympics are sacred Swimming world championships mean that I won't back off from the tv Wimbledon is a religion If Yuzu is on tv silence is reuired So yeah you could say I'm a fan The point is I knew I was going to like Open It wasn't just a feeling; I knew it But now my purpose is to make you you reader who hates sport with a burning passion want to read Open I could sum up all the reasons why you should give Open a chance anyway with a single uote“It's no accident I think that tennis uses the language of life Advantage service fault break love the basic elements of tennis are those of everyday existence because every match is a life in miniature Even the structure of tennis the way the pieces fit inside one another like Russian nesting dolls mimics the structure of our days Points become games become sets become tournaments and it's all so tightly connected that any point can become the turning point It reminds me of the way seconds become minutes become hours and any hour can be our finest Or darkest It's our choice”Yes it's uite obvious that tennis plays a large role in Open because duh really but Open isn't a book about tennis It's a book about life About life and choices and dreams and getting on your feet once you've fallen Also 999th book read And thank goodness it was a good one 3Thanks puccia I'm already pfting at your attempt at denying your puccia ness 3puccia cutie patootie