Agassi, Andre Open: An Autobiography

ISBN 13: 9780007316328

Open: An Autobiography

9780007316328: Open: An Autobiography

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 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 target.

Agassi 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 one.

In 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 quiet 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 U.S. Open for the ages, he makes a courageous last stand, then delivers one of the most stirring farewells ever heard in a sporting arena.

With 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.

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‘Engaging, thrilling…a superbly written book’
–Michael Atherton, The Times

‘Stunningly good’
–Lynne Truss, The Times

‘Honest in a way that such books seldom are . . . An uncommonly well-written sports memoir.’
-Charles McGrath, The New York Times

‘Agassi weaves a fascinating tale of professional tennis and personal adversity . . . His tale shows that success is measured both on and off the court.’
–Doree Shafrir, New York Post

‘An ace autobiography’
–London Lite

From the Publisher:

"No one ever asked me if I wanted to play tennis," Agassi writes, "let alone make it my life." In OPEN, he recalls for the first time a childhood without choices. Forced to embrace tennis, banished to a brutal tennis camp while still in grade school, catapulted to fame while still in his teens, Agassi grew up feeling isolated, alienated, detached. In OPEN he tells how he reconnected, how he overcame his fears, fought through his loneliness, found strength and purpose in the decision to devote his life to others-and in the love of one extraordinary woman.

Agassi writes with uncommon candor about his father, his family, his best friends and first loves. He recounts the intimate details of his doomed marriage to Brooke Shields. He describes the grind of championship tennis, the physical toll and greater mental toll. He recalls his most painful moments in the arena-humiliating defeats, career-threatening injuries, ridicule from fans and media-but celebrates the maturity to which they all led. He also puts his fellow players, including legendary greats, under the microscope of his astounding memory. With precision and grace he recalls their quirks, gifts, foibles, and the demons with which they often struggled.

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