Open, An Autobiography by Andre Agassi
I loved this book. Andre Agassi is a survivor. His story is not only a glimpse into the insanity of any professional athletes life but his own demons.
He confirms the theory that if you do anything for over 10,000 hours, you will become an expert. Agassi was hitting tennis balls for hours a day by the time he could hold a racket. He and his siblings are first generation Americans as his father was an immigrant from Iran. Like many immigrants parents, they want something more for their child. Agassi's father wanted his kids to be tennis pros and he channeled all his energies around that dream. Andre might have hated the process which made him hate tennis but he had raw talents that were apparent the day he started hitting the tennis ball.
Agassi was the first generation of kids at the Nick Bollettieri tennis academy. The academy caters to kids who are on the fast track to tennis stardom. Live in Florida instead of home and let Nick mold and nurture your life. Agassi provides a tell all of what that life meant for him at the academy.
Agassi ceased to be educated at 16 and turned pro. Regardless, he is no dummy. What I loved about the book is how transparent Agassi is in telling his story. He has a huge heart and is loyal to the family and friends around him. He never forgets where he came from. He is incredibly philanthropic with friends in their times of need. Unbelievably so.
The book is engaging and honest. He shares all the demons that go through his head at every match, every relationship and at every turn.
He seems to have found peace and happiness with Steffi Graff. In retirement, he has poured a tremendous amount of his energies into an education facility in Las Vegas where he is making a difference in hundreds of children's lives.
I would guess that although Agassi is no longer playing on the court, he will be back. Not as a tennis player but something else that will make an impact. He is a survivor and although a one man band (which is what tennis is all about ), he has the makings of a killer entrepreneur.