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Open, by Andre Agassi

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message 1: by Arjun (new) - added it

Arjun Sharma As someone who has had aspirations of playing professional tennis some day, it would be rather paradoxical for me to say that I truly enjoyed a book that in many respects criticized the game that deeply reflects my identity. Andre Agassi’s Open, however, provides a starkly contrasting view on the sport in a way that may leave many readers perplexed. The story of the rise of a superstar tennis player who admits to have “wasted” over thirty years of his life seems to contradict the true nature of a successful professional athlete. Ranked fourth all time for most Open Era match wins with 870 and eighth for most Grand Slam titles with 8 in all, Agassi presented himself in a form of professionalism that the world had never seen before.
Andre Agassi was the son of an immigrant father that held his four children to considerably high expectations. Mike Agassi was raised in Iran in a remarkably poor family; he immigrated to the United States and settled in Las Vegas, where he ultimately laid the foundation for one of the most successful athletes in the tennis community. Agassi’s father built a tennis court in his backyard, where he provided intensive training to his children in his hopes of facilitating their path to professional tennis. The manner in which Andre Agassi was raised ultimately became deeply embedded in what eventually developed into his love/hate relationship for the game.
One of the major themes of this autobiography was how Agassi disliked tennis because he was forced to play the game as a child. He failed to develop an appreciation of the game through his personal encounters with it, which instead contributed to his constant periods of depression that he revealed throughout the book. At one point in his life, Agassi used crystal meth in order to relieve himself of all the pressure he had succumbed as a result of some of his worst losing streaks. The Association of Tennis Players (ATP) ultimately discovered this fact, however, Agassi was able to weave his way out of an extended suspension by admitting that his trainer was a drug addict that frequently spiked his drinks. He lied that he had accidently drank one of those drinks, when in fact he had been resorting to drugs.
Many people considered Agassi a rebel because of the way he dressed and acted, when in reality, he was merely trying to hide whatever he felt on the inside. On one occasion, he wore a pair of denim shorts during a match, which angered many fans. He maintained a mullet hairstyle that caused many folks to classify him as a “punk” because of the manner in which he disrespected professionalism and the game of tennis. Agassi once responded to a question criticizing his presentation by saying “I had moments of my actions and words not reflecting who it is I am – if that defines a punk, then yes, absolutely.” Furthermore, he popularized his famous “image is everything” slogan during a Nike photo shoot, and also refused to follow the tradition of wearing white at a Wimbledon tournament one year.
Perhaps the greatest aspect of this book was that it was exceptionally revealing of Andre Agassi’s true self. As a player that never really presented who he was on the inside, the book itself was a gift to fans across the world explaining his life, his actions, and his feelings and opinions on a wide array of topics. Open emphasizes how Agassi was able to overcome his constant periods of depression in order to succeed as an athlete and go far in life. Though at times Agassi admitted to have “hated” tennis, he reflected some genuine aspects of his interests for the sport through his detailed descriptions of crucial points in some of his most career changing matches. His closely knit circle of friends helped him to stay on track in his life. His relationships with JP, a priest that he shared a valuable relationship with, and Gil, his motherly trainer that often stood watch guard as he slept at night, ultimately inspired Agassi to stay positive about his life.
As a tennis player myself, the book has inspired me to continue to pursue the things in life that I am passionate for. Agassi’s journey through a sport he was forced to play reflected a deeper moral; sometimes in life, we have to do things that we may not be particularly fond of. He once stated that “It’s all going to come to an end at one time or another. Until that point, I wanted to be committed to this and see it through.” Open is a book that in all honesty, has incorporated new aspects to my personal philosophy of life as an undefined direction of motion and time. It has helped me develop a greater appreciation for everything I have in life, and everything I can strive for in life and hopefully achieve some day as well. If you love books that provide an intricate combination of life philosophy, sports, and some good-valued morals, then Open is the book for you!


Mary Rarick I read it last weekend and loved every moment of it.


Adina i started to read it in one evening. i was thinking that i'll read 1-2 chapters and than i'll go to bed. But it wasn't like this. Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down... so in one night i read it. And i'm not sorry at all that i "lost" a night to know the life of tenis player Andre Agassi.


Sheryl I loved this book. I was a huge Agassi fan during his career and was shocked to learn his dislike for the sport only a few pages into the book. I was hooked right then....Wonderful read.


Esha Patel I'm not a massive tennis fan but was drawn to this book on account of Agassi being described as somewhat of a rebel of the sport, did he actually enjoy playing or not? This honest account gave a real insight into the game and discipline involved in becoming a professional player. Its well written and more candid than I thought it would be. The speech he gave at Stefi's Tennis Hall of Fame induction is a must see - v touching. Overall a great read and a new found respect for Agassi - definitely recommend it


Diane I just finished reading Andre Agassi's memoir, Open. As is the title, Andre is open. He reveals all his doubts, struggles and soul searching moments. It wasn't easy to read about some of his heart-wrenching experiences and yet, Andre was able to tell his story with splashes of humor. I never thought much about Andre Agassi but now I see him as a great role model who was able to triumph over adversity and come out smiling at the end.


Shubham Mishra The book was really open. Unfortunately Andre as he tells in his book never really loved game. Book is slow at times, but it is a good read.


dumpling The thing that surprises me the most was that he wore a wig while playing professional tennis...there ought to be an award for that alone!

More seriously though, his memoir really conveyed the heart and mind of a charismatic athlete. I could imagine his heart pounding and sweat dripping ~ very powerful stuff.

~dumpling


Anne I too loved the book and as someone who loved to watch him play and thought his game technically beautiful I was shocked and saddened by his loathing for the game - however I loved the story of the wooing of stephie and uplifted by their altruism made me love him more


Rupali Singhania It was a good read overall, though it gets slow at times. But if you really follow tennis, it is an engaging work to read.


Carolina I loved the book, it gave me a different perspective of his career, which I have follow over the years, it surprised me that he admits how much he hated tennis.


message 12: by Rob (new) - rated it 2 stars

Rob Brown Sounds like I was one of the few who didn't fully like this book. It was certainly engaging and I think honest also. The theme about hating tennis was engaging. I have myself the opposite experience, tennis being one of the few escapes I have from depression.

Unfortunately as the book approached its second half I increasingly found Agassi obnoxious, selfish and narcissistic. He certainly had his reasons and I certainly don't envy his childhood but constantly hearing about his celebrity friends, sports cars, luxury holidays and homes whilst having him whine about the most mundane things became a chore for me.


Prediksitogel Andre is the best athletes in Tennis..

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Guddi Reddigari Vishnu The book verges on self-centeredness (and self-pity), in contrast to Agassi's philanthropic endeavors post-tennis career.


message 15: by Ikutgue (new)

Ikutgue The Best Atheletes Tennis & So inofrmative article

Regards Ikutgue


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