Andre Agassi´s Open : The Definition Of Honesty
Before anyone called Andre Agassi a fame whore and suggests he is desperate for attention and greedy for money, they should sit down and read his much publicised autobiography, Open. Not only is it brilliantly written by a Pulitzer Prize winning repoter and good friend of Agassi´s, it is one of the most shockingly honest autobiograhies you will ever read. The criticism heaped upon Agassi over the last month suddenly seems absurd as Open draws you in.
Agassi holds nothing back in Open, which more than lives up to it´s name. Agassi is not only brutally honest about himself: fellow players, tennis, family, and girlfriends do not escape Agassi´s willingness to tell all. It often holds the attention of the reader much like a Sunday gossip column, although even the most ruthless of journalists may be shocked by Open. Want to know who was so cocky he went running after beating Agassi in a match? Or whose boredom Agassi revelled in after they went to see a Broadway play together? What about who Agassi idolised more than anyone? Who he hated more than any other player? If that hasn´t grabbed you, Agassi´s opinions on Federer and Nadal can be found amongst Open. It´s all there, and none of it is gift wrapped.
Agassi hasn´t sugar coated the biggest story to come out of Open either. The book would have sold well without the infamous drug scandal told within it´s pages. Unfortuantly, it sells better with it, and so the publishers chose Agassi´s shocking meth confession to publish as an excerpt to boost hype. Agassi has since recieved much criticism for coming out with the story and admitting the ATP covered for him. Yet for all the cynical critic´s claims that Agassi came out with it for money and fame, Agassi´s honesty really is the crux of Open. His drug admission fits exactly with the book´s entire theme. Agassi is almost unnaturally honest with every topic he covers. Reading Open, it becomes evident why Agassi decided to admit his meth use. It just wouldn´t be ´Open ´without it.
It is a shame that non readers of Open will focus their attentions on Agassi´s drug confession, because one of the greatest stories to arise from Open is that of him and his wife, Steffi Graf. A modern day fairy tale of a man in love at first sight, Agassi´s romantic side comes in huge contrast to the bitterness and hate felt as he writes about tennis and his father. Agassi´s love for Graf, their children and his foundation, eventually give Agassi the meaning for tennis he has been searching for his whole life. The story of how he gets there is nothing short of beautiful.
The story of a three year old forced to hit against a dragon-like ball machine by an aggressive controlling dad. A three year old who eventually becomes a rebellious teen with a pink mohawk and denim shorts John McEnroe rejected. A teen who ran away from Nick Bollettieri´s tennis ´prison camp´. A teen with a talent who eventually grew into one of the most loved tennis players of all time. A player who, above all, hated tennis. And finally, a man who wrote one of the greatest retirement speeches ever and inspired millions.
Andre Agassi´s Open is an absolute must read. Despite the frequent tennis commentry, Open is not aimed solely at tennis fans, although learning the rules of tennis would be beneficial. A times heartbreaking, at times controversial, Agassi ensures he will continue to inspire with Open. Open is a book to be enjoyed by all. All it asks for is an open mind.