Open by Andre Agassi: My Review – Allen Fox Tennis

When talking about tennis, one name that comes to the minds of many people is that of André Agassi. In fact, while growing up, many of us simply loved watching Agassi play. He brought a sense of excitement to a game that has somewhat lost its thrill. I remember his explosive speed on the track, the long iconic hair (which apparently was a wig), and his bubbly character. You also can’t forget his prowess when it came to returning serves. The BBC one referred to him as the “Greatest Service Returner” which was actually true. His marriage to Steffi Graf, regarded as the greatest female tennis player can never escape mentioning.
After the release of his autobiography “Open”, I was excited to get insights about this great tennis player and Hall of Famer. In this book, he practically talks about everything tennis right from childhood. The player categorically states how his daddy shaped his path to becoming a great payer and it wasn’t easy. His father who was also his trainer was hard on him and wanted him to hit the ball harder every time. According to the book, he would make about 2,500 hits in a day using a machine invented by his father who was a boxer. Talk about resilience!
The 400-page paperback outlines Agassi childhood in the Las Vegas. Right from childhood, he was introduced to tennis, which was all he seemed to do in his free time. And with his father always pushing him to hit harder and play better, Agassi claims that he had a dislike for the game at the young age. He admits that he knew so much about tennis but little about himself as a person. The constant playing eventually paid fruit later in his life as he won 8 Singles Grand Slam titles, 17 ATP Masters 1000, 33 ATP titles, 1 Summer Olympic Gold, among many others.
Many readers get to find out more about Andre Agassi’s use of crystal meth, a fact that he a publically admitted, rivalry with Pete Sampras, who is one of the greatest tennis players. Consumers, however, say the information isn’t as detailed as they would have loved. Andre also talks about marriage to his first wife Brooke Shields and then later to Steffi Graf, the greatest female tennis player to date, and Reyes, his right-hand man.
Although raked as the seventh most successful tennis player when it comes to career match wins (870 matches) as per the Open Era, Andre says that many people still viewed him as an underachiever. In fact, he says that he started gaining fame and respect after retirement. He continues to mentor young players to date and also participates in many philanthropic activities.
Open is without- a -remarkable story about one of Tennis’s Greats. He added panache to the sport and inspired many young players. The book also talks about real life challenges the player faced including marriage to Brooke Shields, his model ex-wife, and current wife, Steffi Graf, using crystal meth and steroids and being viewed as an underachiever despite his talent. This book is certainly worth a read.
Reference:
1. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2009/nov/08/open-autobiography-andre-agassi
2. http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/players/andre-agassi/a092/titles-and-finals
3. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/06/AR2009110601492.html
4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXKEVh3XdPo

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