A Candid Read.
Open: An Autobiography by Andre Agassi is a wonderful piece of work. The trials and tribulations of an athlete is well articulated in this page turner . I am a tennis buff and have been watching tennis from my childhood. But this book has taught me to review tennis from a different perspective. It has made me to introspect about what goes in a players psyche before, after, and in the preparation phase of the match.
It is amazing to see how Agassi draws inspiration from various sources, yet he falls face down, not literally, because he is a man with many emotions, and for him to succeed at an elite level turns out to be extremely difficult. For example, he draws inspiration from Mandela when he meets the Nobel Peace Prize Winner in South Africa and yet at the same time he candidly accepts his weaknesses and fails to succeed at that juncture. And at later stages displays some magnificent tennis perhaps in patches. He had many shortcomings, firstly his serve was not supreme and he had a back ailment from his childhood and to top it two herniated discs to trouble him. Yet he survives all this and turns out to be best service returners in the history of this game.
Though it is an autobiography I felt like reading a fiction/thriller novel with so many characters interwoven resulting in an intense drama with many immensely witty moments , which kept me at the edge of my seat.
PS: Agassi has won 8 grand slams and a gold medal in the 1996 Olympic games. The much coveted Wimbledon was won by him in 1992.