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Open

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  32,907 ratings  ·  3,472 reviews
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 rebe...more
Hardcover, 388 pages
Published November 9th 2009 by Knopf (first published 1997)
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Elizabeth
Dec 26, 2009 Elizabeth rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Andy
My old editor always said that I should try to write like anyone, it should be J.R. 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 more 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...more
Daniel Audet
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...more
Priyanshu
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...more
Adi
This book kept me awake at night. I felt compelled to finish it in 2 days ("straight sets" maybe? - not my fault for the metaphor).
I might as well add that I was surprised to find out that Agassi fundamentally hates tennis and that he was an underachiever - he could have done (much) better. The way his father forced him to train as a little boy and the life he led as a tennis pro were also very interesting to know.
Ed
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 writer/photographer for in the mid-/late-1990s,...more
Araxie Altounian
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 m...more
Mircalla64 (free Liu Xiaobo)
Open space


il tennis può essere uno sport
o anche una religione
un modo per fare soldi
o anche un modo per dimostrare qualcosa
quello che però il tennis non può essere mai è un motivo
una ragione per perdere la vita, l'identità e tutto quel che ci sarebbe dovuto per diritto di nascita: un Io

Agassi si fa aiutare da uno che la penna la sa usare davvero per raccontare la sua vita abusata
il suo successo amaro perchè mai cercato, un successo che significa una rinuncia al suo vero io
ogni vittoria lo allonta...more
Anurag Kesarwani
When i picked up this book the name OPEN suggested Andre will discuss about his prolong tennis career, his rivalry with Pete Sampras and many nail biting matches at the 4 grand slams or the OPENS, but from the first page till the end it was more about Agassi's fight with his inner self, his projection to the outer world and how wins through life after numerous failures. The title OPEN actually signifies how with course of time Andre puts his inner feeling out in the open with his near and dear o...more
Paola
Non é che propriamente l'ho letto, no, l'ho divorato, e manco ho fatto indigestione. Scrive bene il ghost writer che non é nemmeno tanto ghost, alla fine del libro c'é il nome e cognome e tanti ringraziamenti dell'Agassi, e non é uno da niente ma uno che ha vinto il Pulitzer... e quindi.

Per chi ama il tennis é una droga sto libro.

L'enfant terrible du tennis raccontato da lui stesso medesimo.

Si certo, certo, é una storia molto americana, il farsi da sé, l'ascesa, la caduta e la risalita, storia d...more
Gus Sanchez
Among Andre Agassi's impressive accomplishments - 8-time Grand Slam winner, Olympic Gold medalist, nearly 800 career wins - we can now add "author" to his list of accomplishments. It's his words, every single one of them in this book, and Agassi demonstrates a true gift for prose and pace. He even marvels at his ability to write a memoir; for someone who pretty much flunked out of school to pursue tennis, Agassi grew into a vocal and tireless advocate for education, a voracious reader, and now,...more
Andreas Ernst
The book provides a lot of visibility into Agassi's life. His love-hate relationship with tennis, his upbringing, his ups and downs in life, his relationship with Steffi Graf and his confession on taking performance enhancing drugs! All in all a great, fascinating and entertaining read!
Candy
It is hard to know what to say about this book. It is a strange book! It has a strange tone. It is a page-turner.
Why?
I'm not sure.

Agassi hates tennis. Agassi plays tennis long after his peers have retired even at the point where his body is barely holding on.
Agassi has an insane dad. So insane and high-strung and focused on his kids' tennis that it seems like it can't be true.
The media doesn't get Agassi. The media thinks he's a brash young a-hole. But he acts like a brash young a-hole. But h...more
Lorenzo Berardi
«Did you know that Agassi is an Iranian surname? It should be pronounced Agassì, with the stress on the last "i"».

No, I didn't know that when I was 12. But I kept that in mind, as you can read.
Now, the same fact that, back in 1994, my friend Amir (owner of an Iranian and final "i" stressed surname himself) told me something on Andre Agassi and I knew who that guy was means something.

One year before our teens, Amir and I were all but into tennis. Not that we didn't care about sports - football, b...more
Heather
First of all, let me say I am not a tennis fan. At all. I don't know the terminology, and I have no idea what the rules are. However, I quite liked this book and genuinely didn't mind all the tennis stuff.

For the first half of the book I sort of thought that Andre sounded like such a "guy." But not in a good way if you know what I'm saying. But man, he won me over by the end! Now he seems like a little softie to me and I'm slightly obsessed with googling him. He seems like a good person, and he...more
Simon
I’m not massively interested in tennis but somebody recommended this to me as a stand-out sports biography, plus I’ve recently read Infinite Jest, which is partly set in a tennis academy, so I was in the tennis groove.

As far as sports biographies go it’s pretty good: an engaging narrator, a compelling narrative arc (startling rise to number one in the world and three Grand Slams, personal disintegration and rapid fall to 141, before a big late career surge, back to number one and another five Gr...more
Malin Friess
Andre Agassi despite winning 8 grand slams, playing in over 1000 professional matches, being the oldest player to ever hold the #1 ranking, and being the only player to win the golden slam (US Open, French Open, Wimbledon, Australian Open, Olympic Gold Medal) would tell you that he hates tennis, always has. Agassi hated how is overbearing father built a tennis court in his bag yard and fired up the dragon (tennis ball shooter) and shot tennis balls until his wrists were weak. Andre hated being s...more
Gotta
Feb 19, 2012 Gotta rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: epic
Okay, I'm not a big autobiography fan, let alone tennis fan. I simply don't have the patience to sit through a match, not even understand the scoring. Whole tennis is mystery to me, just like golf and cricket.
Than friends suggested me the "Open" (köszi Niki & Zsófi!), and said it's f@ing great. Oh, well, at least I knew who Andre Agassi is, knew some about him, caught some glimpses of his games back then. But still...
And yeah, this book gets you, catches is. And yes, definitely difficult to...more
Jeremy
I actually expected to give this book 1 or 2 stars, so 3 is pretty charitable. And for a sports memoir, it's striking and definitely worthy. You've read the revelations so no need to repeat them, But it's impressive to see a top athlete let his guard down as Andre does here. Dramatic narrative. And Agassi seems like he's questing for truth with the same aggression he (apparently!) used to use to quest for victory on the tennis court.

Three reasons I wouldn't give this book more stars:

1) Its just...more
Paul
If you're reading this book because you were a big Agassi fan and you want some background on the man behind the wig, you have picked the perfect book. There's a lot of interesting and moving personal information. Agassi, however is a bit of a narcissist and you may get tired of the rationalizations to justify the results of every match in his career. Also, he creates himself as an expert in educational policy. That's a bit tiresome (and racist) at points. Thanks.
ML
Choosing JR Moehringer to write his autobiography was Agassi's genius stroke. This is not a 'comfortable' book to read. Agassi's pain and sense of isolation, whether on the court or in his personal life, is constant. Others have recorded their childhood of involuntary servitude to a parents' obsession, but this is the best-written.
Pasatoiu
When you see a book titled "Open" with Andre Agassi's face on the cover, you could only imagine this will be just a story about his career and his memorable matches against Pete Sampras, Boris Becker or Michael Chang. But this book is more than that. As its title might suggest, Agassi opens his heart and mind in front of the reader, who will discover a troubled man that tries to find his path in life. Forced by his father to sacrifice his childhood so that he can practice tennis all the time, th...more
Jegan
This is one is surely for all those skeptics who had that doubt on whether he deserved this esteem and the Honey Steffi graff :)

The Autobiography which I longed to read and Im Happy that my wallet was Open for Open.

The moment I started this , I went straight to the days were I used to bunk classes, skip food, Hold my bowels, prorogue almost anything Just to witness the charm this guy was evincing on the court.

The expectation rose within me as I tried to stop envisage my past wid agassi and start...more
Anca Zinculescu
"The scoreboard says I lost today, but what the scoreboard doesn't say it is what I have found. Over the last twenty-one years I have found loyalty: You have pulled me on the court, and also in life. I have found inspiration: You have willed me to succeed, sometimes even in my lowest moments. And I have found generosity: You have given me your shoulders to stand on, to reach for my dreams - dreams I could have never reached without you. Over the last twenty-one years I have found you, and will t...more
Lennie
In this memoir, Andre Agassi describes growing up in Las Vegas with a hot-tempered, controlling father who pushed his children to play tennis. Being the youngest and most talented of his siblings, Agassi’s father decided to send him to Bollettieri Academy, a tennis boarding school in Florida, where he would learn to eat, sleep, and drink tennis because his father felt that if Andre was going to be number one, then this was the only way to accomplish that goal. Having no other choice but to live...more
Mazola1
This year a thirteen year old boy climbed Mount Everest, igniting or perhaps more accurately, re-igniting, a heated controversy about the troubled, and often ethically troubling, relationship between parents and child sports stars. Images of little Jon Benet Ramsay all dressed up like a beauty queen at age 6, of Tiger Woods showing off his already proficient golf swing on the Ed Sullivan Show at age 2, of the Williams sister, allegedly conceived to be tennis champions, and of dozens of preteen f...more
Heather
Let me begin by saying that I am a huge tennis fan so that made this book much more interesting for me. I recognized just about every player he talked about in the book and it always helps when you can put a face with a name. That being said, I must admit that my opinion of Agassi went from good to bad by the end of the book. It was shocking to read about his miserable childhood and his crazed father.... and that explains some things, but not everything. I was disappointed in his need to throw j...more
Tricia
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mike
Spellbinding. Could write a book just from the stories from his childhood in Vegas where his impossibly overbearing dad had him face off against a demonic ball machine nicknamed the Dragon. He hit with all the greats while still under 10 yrs old. He hustled football great Jim Brown. His dad sent him to Nick Bollettieri's academy at 12, which was more of a prison camp (Courier was there at the same time). Agassi rebels, and realizes that he can get away with nearly everything because Nick needs h...more
Justin
Though I've slipped a little in recent years, I've been a tennis player and fan of tennis since I was 10 years old. A mere dabbler at the start of my interest, I became passionate about the game thanks almost entirely to a singular force: Andre Agassi.

Agassi was really hitting his stride during my formative years, his rivalry with Pete Sampras ramping up, his speed and fitness on the court reaching unprecedented dimensions. He was, and remains, the most entertaining tennis player to watch, for m...more
Greg Zimmerman
Even if you're not exactly up to speed on your deuce courts and forty-loves, you could still do much worse than spending a few days with tennis champion Andre Agassi's autobiography, Open. Yes, first and foremost, it is the story of an athlete, but the book is equally engaging when it moves beyond the matches to reveal the man -- conflicted, flawed, and at odds with the sport he's supposed to love. Through the prose of J.R. Moehringer, of The Tender Bar fame, Agassi chronicles his pockmarked jou...more
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Comments 3 99 Jun 06, 2011 06:31AM  
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Andre Kirk Agassi is a retired American professional tennis player and former World No. 1. Generally considered by critics and fellow players to be one of the greatest tennis players of all time, Agassi has been called the best service returner in the history of the game.
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“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.” 45 likes
“Only boxers can understand the loneliness of tennis players - and yet boxers have their corner men and managers. Even a boxer's opponent provides a kind of companionship, someone he can grapple with and grunt at. In tennis you stand face-to-face with the enemy, trade blows with him, but never touch him or talk to him, or anyone else. The rules forbid a tennis player from even talking to his coach while on the court. People sometimes mention the track-and-field runner as a comparably lonely figure, but I have to laugh. At least the runner can feel and smell his opponents. They're inches away. In tennis you're on an island. Of all the games men and women play, tennis is the closest to solitary confinement....” 29 likes
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