Open is the story of Andre’s childhood on the courts, his first lessons as a prodigy in Las Vegas, and his meteoric rise to stardom. In this gripping memoir, Agassi shares how he became the first player to win three Grand Slam singles titles in four years, overcame past mistakes and triumphed again.
Open, Andre Agassi’s gripping memoir of the years he spent as the world’s number one tennis player is an account of a man who, from the beginning, had been groomed—by his father, peers, and by himself—to be great. It is an unforgettable story of triumph, defeat, impossible dreams, and staggering losses. Drawing on a lifetime of experience, including illuminating accounts of growing up under the iron-fisted grip of his father, Agassi reveals the combination of athleticism and drive that made him such a fierce competitor on the court. Open is also the story of how he found love at the age of thirty-three and married it four months later.
Agassi’s excellent training begins when he is just a child. At thirteen, he is banished to a Florida tennis camp that feels like a prison. Lonely, scared, and a ninth-grade dropout, he rebels in ways that will soon make him an icon of the 1980s. He dyes his hair, pierces his ears, and dresses like a punk rocker. By the time he turns pro at sixteen, his new look promises to change tennis forever. Open is more than the autobiography of a great athlete; it’s an inspiring tale about finding meaning in life through passion, discipline, and hard work.
About Open Book
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 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, and 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 and his more significant confusion as he starts to win. After stumbling in three Grand Slam finals, Agassi shocks the world 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, wise coach, gentle trainer, and all the people who help him regain his balance and finally find love with Stefanie Graf. Inspired by her quiet strength, he fights through crippling pain from a deteriorating spine to remain a dangerous opponent in his career’s twenty-first and final year. Entering his last tournament in 2006, he’s hailed for completing a stunning metamorphosis from nonconformist to elder statesman, dropout to education advocate. And still, he’s not done. He makes a courageous last stand at a U.S. Open for the ages, then delivers one of the most emotional 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.