May 1, 2014
Before I even opened this book, I had a preconceived opinion of Andre Agassi. For me, he was the guy who had the lion mane of hair, oddball tennis outfits and was married to Brooke Shields. He was guy in the camera commercials that blurted out the slogan, “image is everything”. I knew he won a few major tournaments and played well into his thirties. The book, “Open” was recommended based on it how well it was written with its depiction of the tennis world and the life of a professional athlete.
As I read page after page, I was transfixed into Agassi’s life path and how he ended up where he did.
Agassi is adamant about stating his reluctance and distaste for the sport in which he was a champion. The story details his early life with his father’s pressure for him to succeed at tennis. The main reason I couldn’t put this book down is the way the writing is so vivid in its events and situations in hand.
He describes in great detail the events in his early life that shaped his upbringing. One of those events that I remember most is the challenge match he had with the Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown. Agassi was young lad at the age of ten, his dad bet Brown ten thousand dollars that Andre could beat him in a match. The most prevalent and underlying thread throughout the book is the influence that his dad had over his demeanor. His dad’s persona shaped Andre’s life, both good and bad. Agassi lays out chronologically in a riveting storytelling style the key points that influenced his decisions.
My most enjoyment from this book is the way Agassi describe his thoughts about his opponents, most especially his arch rival, Pete Sampras. Agassi breaks down his championship matches, from his strategy, to his training regimen and mental state. It’s such a fascinating read to hear about the struggles to gain a mental and physical edge on opponents.
Lastly, we get to read about his walk with fame and how he dealt with it. You get to go behind the scenes in which celebrities live in. Agassi holds nothing back and when you finish reading it, you learn, you’re entertained and you can recommend to not just sport fans but to anybody.