Sports Book Review: Open: An Autobiography by Andre Agassi

Filed in Gather Books Essential by on January 28, 2010 0 Comments

The book opens with Andre Agassi, 36, laying on a floor and not knowing where he is. Agassi looks up, sees he’s next to a bed, and then remembers: It’s 2006 and after 21 years on the tour, he is at his final tournament, the U.S. Open.

And so begins the easy to read, honest, and very enjoyable autobiography of one of tennis’ beloved and individualistic players. From the time Agassi began playing tennis at age seven upon his father’s insistence, his separation from his family during his early teen years, his ascent to the top of the tennis ranks, his hair struggles, his secret and controversial meth use, his fall and subsequent climb to No. 1, and his education advocacy for poor kids, this book covers it all and has something for everyone.

As a tennis player (I also began playing tennis at seven, but only had an amateur “career”), I appreciated Agassi’s dialogue about strategy, conditioning, injuries, other tour players, and his comeback.

Athletes will enjoy the physical and mental training discussions; biography lovers will like the tennis history and anecdotes about famous people (Barbra Streisand, Jim Brown, and Friends cast members to name a few) and for the girl who wants a good love story, between Agassi’s two famous wives including his pursuit of Steffi Graf, this book is for you.

In addition to Agassi’s authorship, J.R. Moehringer, the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, is the co-writer. Moehringer released his own acclaimed memoir, The Tender Bar, in 2005 and his style is very evident and welcomed in this book.

And if you’re wondering how Agassi fared in the Australian Open, he won it four times!

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