Review of Andre Agassi’s Open: An Autobiography

Review of Andre Agassi’s Open: An Autobiography

I’ve recently had the chance to read Andre Agassi’s autobiography, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Open is definitely the right title since Andre really opens up about every aspect of his life.

He openly shares his thoughts about tennis, his relationship with his father, his relationships with his girlfriends, media, and other tennis players.

So what does Andre tell us that we didn’t already know?

Well, one of the reasons Andre decided to publish this book is to tell the truth about his life, because the media has shown us a totally different man – and that’s NOT who Andre really is.

Andre felt that if he didn’t set the record straight, we would always be misled by all the yellow press stories published by those whose only interest is to get more readers so as to earn more money, not to share the truth.

Andre’s book starts with his US Open match against Marcos Baghdatis. Andre’s description of the match is so vivid, because of his remarkable memory of almost every point, his intelligent observations about the game of tennis and life, and his smart tactical views of the game.

If you’re a tennis player, it’s going to be very hard to stop reading until the end of the account of this match.

The book then continues with the life of Andre at an early age and how his obsessed father forced him to play tennis for hours and hours in the desert heat of Las Vegas.

I won’t spoil the details of the whole story, but Andre will take you from when he is the age of seven to his last official match at the US Open, and show you the truth of what really happened in his life.

I personally think that it’s almost a miracle that Andre won as many titles as he did despite his fragile mind, lack of confidence, and all the psychological issues going on inside of him. He really found peace with Steffi Graf, and if Andre had found such peace five years earlier, I think that he would have won twelve or more Grand Slams, for sure.

I really enjoyed the book, because of Andre’s uncanny humor, his openness about his dark side, his views on the tactical and mental game of tennis, and his views on fellow tennis players, like Pete Sampras, who often prevented Andre from winning another Slam or big title, but also taught Andre so much about tennis and himself.

If you’re a tennis player, you’ll learn a lot about the game of tennis on the highest level and how simple it can be sometimes. (Brad Gilbert once suggested to Andre, “Don’t miss,” and hearing that was all it took for Andre to turn the match around.)

And if you’re just a tennis fan, you simply have to read to book to get the real facts about Andre Agassi. You can’t go on believing the hyped and distorted media news and stories that you have read so far.

Disclosure: I received Open: An Autobiography free of charge from Knopf Publishing. However, I don’t receive any commission for copies purchased through any of my Web site links.

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This entry was posted on Friday, December 4th, 2009 at 12:19 pm and is filed under ATP tour. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 Responses to “Review of Andre Agassi’s Open: An Autobiography”
Alex Says:
December 5th, 2009 at 2:10 pm
Andre’s book, “Open,” is truly awesome! I loved reading every minute of it. I’ve never read a book quite like this. The fast pace of the book keeps the reader glued from the first page. The details of the matches are amazing! If you want to find out what it took to make an 8 time Grand Slam champion and a true tennis legend, and the agonizing sacrifices that go along with that, then you have to read Andre’s story.


Leo Says:
December 28th, 2009 at 2:09 pm
Yes, I agree, it is a compelling book from start to finish, perhaps if history had changed, and he didn’t make it as a tennis player, then he could have become a prolific author! Seriously though, it was brave of him to ‘come clean’ with the drugs issue, I wonder how many other players would have done the same?

Andre Aggasi is a tennis legend, and I think that is how we should all remember him.


Stephen Says:
January 2nd, 2010 at 7:33 am
For me, I could not finish the book. It was tough waiting for any valuable nugget while wading through page after page of his self destructing behavior, the results of years of negative conditioning. Reading when he went to view Brooke’s taping of the TV show “Friends” and in the script she had to lick a guys hand and Andre could not handle her “acting” her part, he ran out out of the studio, sped home and smashed and broke all his tennis trophies including Wimbeldon – smashed them to pieces over Brooke doing her job as an actress – was my tipping point. I had enough of his defeating negative mental condition. There were some nuggets of value but wading through page after page of tripe was not worth it for me.


Denis Hopking Says:
February 15th, 2010 at 6:57 am
This is the best book I have read for ages! I loved and lived every episode and couldn’t wait to read the next chapter. Agassi’s relationships with Gil and Brad were awe inspiring – his obvious reverence and ability to listen to their guidance and their care for his development was profound. I thought the way that the book started with the end first was fantastic and listening to Agassi share those background hours before his match with Bagdadis were powerful – his obsessive nature towards his tennis bag and racquets showed a professional perfectionist!
This book, I am certain, will be made into an Oscar winning film not far in the future because it goes through dark turmoil into humanitarian fulfilment.
Thank you Andre for being so honest and open.