Book Review: “Open” by Andre Agassi

Listened to the audiobook version of the book.

Agassi’s hatred toward tennis seems to resonate throughout the book. I could tell that he really hated tennis at his early life practicing many rounds of tennis against the “dragon,” automatic tennis machine. But after his success, he was able to redirect the purse toward his charity, his new purpose of life. This made tennis a bit more “fun” to him. Of course, Agassi is a winner. He hates to lose more than he loves to win. The game turn on that part of him. It’s funny that when one is faced with one choice because of his eight-grade education, he had no other avenue to succeed in. It made his choice simple. Based on his writing of this book. I think he’s quite talented in English composition, probably inherited his mother gene.

Use of his team is his strength. Surrounded by people who love him and he can trust. Gil, his trainer, is like a father to him. I don’t think Agassi could go far with Gil’s watching his back, literally. Gil’s Da Vinci notebook, full of his special training recipes and his Gil water makes a huge competitive advantage for Agassi. Brad, his coach taught him to play his odds rather than being perfect in playing his game.

From his description of his relationship with Brook Sheilds appeared to be a disaster from the start. He didn’t appear to related to actors in general. But Agassi’s pursuit of Stephanie Graph was no less than magical. It all started out as a fascination and after his breakup with Brook Shield, he turned his focus on her and eventually won her heart. It took some persistence just like his game.

There were many matches that Agassi described in great details including all of the thoughts and emotions during the game. It’s fascinating to see how much of the emotion and conviction play in winning or losing the tennis game.

Agassi’s story is nothing short of rags to riches. An naive Las Vegas boy who played a mean tennis game, eventually turned into one of the enduring tennis star and ironically a respectful philanthropist.

The book reads like a hero’s journey. A very interesting read. Highly recommended.