Monday, December 28, 2009

Andre Agassi

I just finished Andre Agassi's autobiography, Open: An Autobiography. Agassi describes his book as a story of redemption. For some reason, everything seems to be about redemption nowadays. I guess too many people have things they have to atone for. hehe.

Probably my favorite parts of the book are his stories on his coach Brad Gilbert and his future wife, Steffi Graf. Gilbert helped Agassi win several big tournaments and it was interesting to read how he did that. Agassi's courtship of Graf was also interesting. I like this quote from Agassi to Graf: "If you're not moving forward, you're moving backward." He told her that because she was dating some other guy for 6 years. He was trying to get her to give him a chance and forget about her then-boyfriend. I guess it worked. hehe.

Here are some other things I learned:

1) Agassi is not a fan of Boris Becker or Michael Chang. Becker said Agassi got preferential treatment from the tournament officials. Agassi disagreed with that assessment and held it against Becker ever since. Chang meanwhile was always thanking God and Agassi was annoyed by it.

2) He accused former player Jeff Tarango of cheating when they were playing as kids. Tarango now coaches tennis and denies the accusations.

3) He listens to soft rock (Barbara Streisand, Celine Dion, Richard Marx) despite his rebel image. Agassi hated the rebel image, btw. He never thought of himself as a rebel.

4) He hated tennis, but played because he didn't have any other skills. He only has a 9th grade education. Also, his dad was a bit of a tyrant -- the classic "sports dad".

5) In his youth, he once played in his jeans when he played an opponent becuase he didn't think his opponent was much of a challenge. Sounds familiar.

The book was written with the help of J.R. Moehringer, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his book The Tender Bar. How much credit Moehringer gets for the book, who knows. Either way, the final product was an entertaining read. Lots of good stories. Many of them funny.

Technorati tags: Andre Agassi