Friday, December 17, 2010

Review: Open by Andre Agassi

Open: An AutobiographyOpen: An Autobiography by Andre Agassi

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow. I love this book. I can't believe all the physical and emotional pain that Agassi has gone through to get where he is. I was outraged at the insensitivity of his father and his domineering attitude - forcing little 7-year-old Andre to hit over 2000 tennis balls a day - but in a weird way all the heartache he caused Andre has gotten him where he is now - with a beautiful family and resources to do a lot of good.

The book is filled with anecdotes about his father, his friends, his coaches, his trainers and other tennis players. These are fun to read and offer amusing inside information. One of my favorites is when he finds out that Pete Sampras leaves a valet $1 for a tip - this after Sampras has made tens of millions in his career. "Here's a buck kid, bring the car around."

Agassi hasn't held anything back in this autobiography - painting himself with brutal honesty. The bone-crushing despair of losing, his sometimes bad behavior and the elation after winning. I like seeing him evolve as a person - slowly realizing that in helping others, he gains the most satisfaction in life. This leads to the creation and funding of a successful inner city charter school where college is the ultimate goal. I rejoice over the happiness he has found with fellow tennis legend Stefanie Graff and the joy he takes in his two children.

A book that tennis and non-tennis players will enjoy.

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