A New York Times Notable Book and a Forbes, San Francisco Chronicle, and Washington Post Best Book of the Year"Agassi may have just penned one of the best sports autobiographies of all time. Check--it's one of the better memoirs out there, period. . . . An unvarnished, at times inspiring story [told] in an arresting, muscular style. . . . Agassi's memoir is just as entrancing as his tennis game."
--Time "Fascinating. . . . Inspiring. . . . Open describes Agassi's personal odyssey with brio and unvarnished candor. . . . [Agassi's] career-comeback tale is inspiring but even more so is another Open storyline. It could be called: The punk grows up. . . . Countless athletes start charitable foundations, but frequently the organizations are just tax shelters or PR stunts. For Agassi helping others has instead become his life's calling. . . . Open is a superb memoir, but it hardly closes the books on an extraordinary life."
--The Wall Street Journal "Honest in a way that such books seldom are. . . . An uncommonly well-written sports memoir. . . . Bracingly devoid of triumphalist homily, Agassi's is one of the most passionately anti-sports books ever written by a superstar athlete."
--The New York Times "Not your typical jock-autobio fare. This literate and absorbing book is, as the title baldly states, Agassi's confessional, a wrenching chronicle of his lifelong search for identity and serenity, on and off the court."
--Los Angeles Times "The writing here is exceptional. It is can't-put-down good."
--Sports Illustrated "An honest, substantive, insightful autobiography. . . . The bulk of this extraordinary book vividly recounts a lost childhood, a Dickensian adolescence, and a chaotic struggle in adulthood to establish an identity. . . . While not without excitement, Agassi's comeback to No. 1 is less uplifting than his sheer survival, his emotional resilience, and his good humor in the face of the luckless cards he was often dealt."
--The Washington Post "The most revealing, literate, and toes-stompingly honest sports autobiography in history"
--Rick Reilly, ESPN "Much more than a drug confession--Agassi weaves a fascinating tale of professional tennis and personal adversity. . . . His tale shows that success is measured both on and off the court."
--New York Post "Not only has Agassi bared his soul like few professional athletes ever have, he's done it with a flair and force that most professional writers can't even pull off."
--Entertainment Weekly "[A] heartfelt memoir . . . Agassi's style is open, all right, and his book, like so many of his tennis games, is a clear winner."
--O, The Oprah Magazine "Hard-won self-knowledge irradiates almost every page of Open. . . . Not just a first-rate sports memoir but a genuine bildungsroman, darkly funny yet also anguished and soulful. It confirms what Agassi's admirers sensed from the outset, that this showboat . . . was not clamoring for attention but rather conducting a struggle to wrest some semblance of selfhood from the sport that threatened to devour him."
--The New York Times Book Review "A riveting and reflective memoir by a man who rose to the top of his sport--despite hating it."
--San Francisco Chronicle "Celebrity tell-alls have rarely been this honest and this interesting."
--Baltimore Sun "A vivid portrait of the internal battle faced in some measure by every athlete."
--Bloomberg News "Articulate. . . . Expertly rendered."
--The Morning News (Boston) "Refreshingly candid. . . . This lively, revealing, and entertaining book is certain to roil the tennis world and make a big splash beyond."
He is one of the most beloved athletes in history and one of the most gifted men ever to step onto a tennis court – but from early childhood Andre Agassi hated the game.
Coaxed to swing a racket while still in the crib, forced to hit hundreds of balls a day while still in grade school, Agassi resented the constant pressure even as he drove himself, an inner conflict that would define him. In his beautiful, haunting autobiography, Agassi tells the story of a life framed by conflict.
Agassi makes us feel his panic as an undersized seven-year-old, practicing all day under the obsessive gaze of his violent father. We see him at thirteen, banished to a tennis camp. A lonely, scared, ninth-grade dropout, he rebels in ways that will soon make him a 1980s icon. By the time he turns pro at sixteen, his new look promises to change tennis forever, as does his lightning fast return.
Yet, despite raw talent, he struggles. 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 title. Overnight he becomes a fan favourite and a media target.
Agassi brings a near-photographic memory to every pivotal match, and every public relationship. Alongside vivid portraits of tennis rivals, Agassi gives unstinting accounts of his relationships. He reveals the depression that shatters his confidence, and the mistake that nearly costs him everything. Finally, he recounts his spectacular resurrection 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.
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.
Note that this ebook edition does not include illustrations that first appeared in the print version.