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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (19,395 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Andre Agassi Narrator: Erik Davies Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2009 ISBN: 9780739358573
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From Andre Agassi, one of the most beloved athletes in history and one of the most gifted men ever to step onto a tennis court, comes a beautiful, haunting autobiography.

Agassi’s incredibly rigorous training begins when he is just a child. By the age of thirteen, he is banished to a Florida tennis camp that feels like a prison camp. Lonely, scared, a ninth-grade dropout, he rebels in ways that will soon make him a 1980s icon. He dyes his hair, pierces his ears, dresses like a punk rocker. By the time he turns pro at sixteen, his new look promises to change tennis forever, as does his lightning-fast return.

And yet, despite his raw talent, he struggles early on. We feel his confusion as he loses to the world’s best, his greater confusion as he starts to win. After stumbling in three Grand Slam finals, Agassi shocks the world, and himself, by capturing the 1992 Wimbledon. Overnight he becomes a fan favorite and a media target.

Agassi brings a near-photographic memory to every pivotal match and every relationship. Never before has the inner game of tennis and the outer game of fame been so precisely limned. Alongside vivid portraits of rivals from several generations—Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer—Agassi gives unstinting accounts of his brief time with Barbra Streisand and his doomed marriage to Brooke Shields. He reveals a shattering loss of confidence. And he recounts his spectacular resurrection, a comeback climaxing with his epic run at the 1999 French Open and his march to become the oldest man ever ranked number one.

In clear, taut prose, Agassi evokes his loyal brother, his wise coach, his gentle trainer, all the people who helped him regain his balance and find love at last with Stefanie Graf. Inspired by her quiet strength, he fights through crippling pain from a deteriorating spine to remain a dangerous opponent in the twenty-first and final year of his career. Entering his last tournament in 2006, he’s hailed for completing a stunning metamorphosis, from nonconformist to elder statesman, from dropout to education advocate. And still he’s not done. At a U.S. Open for the ages, he makes a courageous last stand, then delivers one of the most stirring farewells ever heard in a sporting arena.

With its breakneck tempo and raw candor, Open will be read and cherished for years. A treat for ardent fans, it will also captivate readers who know nothing about tennis. Like Agassi’s game, it sets a new standard for grace, style, speed, and power.

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Quotes & Awards

  • It’s both astonishing and a pleasure to report that Andre Agassi . . . has produced an honest, substantive, insightful autobiography . . . The bulk of this extraordinary book vividly recounts a lost childhood, a Dickensian adolescence, and a chaotic struggle in adulthood to establish an identity . . . While not without excitement, Agassi’s comeback to No. 1 is less uplifting than his sheer survival, his emotional resilience, and his good humor in the face of the luckless cards he was often dealt. Michael Mewshaw, Washington Post
     
  • Honest in a way that such books seldom are . . . An uncommonly well-written sports memoir. Charles McGrath, The New York Times
     
  • Probably the most candid sports autobiography ever written . . . A remarkably real, tell-it-like-it-is, record-breaking read. Nancy Isenberg, The [Baton Rouge] Advocate
     
  • Agassi weaves a fascinating tale of professional tennis and personal adversity . . . His tale shows that success is measured both on and off the court. Doree Shafrir, New York Post
     
  • Refreshingly candid . . . This lively, revealing, and entertaining book is certain to roil the tennis world and make a big splash beyond.             Publishers Weekly
     
  • Enigmatic tennis great Agassi lays it all on the line . . . Agassi’s photographic recall of pivotal matches evokes the raw intensity of watching them from the stands. Lovers of the sport will also appreciate this window into the mind of a champion . . . An ace of a tale about how one man found his game. Kirkus

  • Open describes [Agassi’s] personal odyssey with brio and unvarnished candor . . . His career-comeback tale is inspiring but even more so is another Open storyline. It could be called: The punk grows up . . . Countless athletes start charitable foundations, but frequently the organizations are just tax shelters or PR stunts. For Mr. Agassi helping others has instead become his life’s calling . . . Open is a superb memoir, but it hardly closes the books on an extraordinary life. Jay Winik, The Wall Street Journal
     
  • “Insightful [and] exceedingly well-written . . . [Open] has the cadence and plotting of a good novel . . . The raw energy and emotion throughout are pure Agassi. Newsday Top 10 Books of 2009

  • Surprisingly candid . . . The baseline bad boy serves up his harrowing anecdotes with the same force he put behind every on-court ace.             Entertainment Weekly 10 Best Nonfiction Books of 2009
  • Bracingly devoid of triumphalist homily, Agassi’s is one of the most passionately anti-sports books ever written by a superstar athlete.             The New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2009
  • Andre Agassi’s memoir is just as entrancing as his tennis game . . . By sharing an unvarnished, at times inspiring story in an arresting, muscular style, Agassi may have just penned one of the best sports autobiographies of all time. Check—it’s one of the better memoirs out there, period. Sean Gregory, Time
     
  • Not just a first-rate sports memoir but a genuine bildungsroman, darkly funny yet also anguished and soulful. It confirms what Agassi’s admirers sensed from the outset, that this showboat . . . was not clamoring for attention but rather conducting a struggle to wrest some semblance of selfhood from the sport that threatened to devour him. Sam Tanenhaus, The New York Times Book Review
     
  • A remarkable and quite unexpected volume, one that sails well past its homiletic genre into the realm of literature, a memoir whose success clearly owes not a little to a reader’s surprise in discovering that a celebrity one may have presumed to know on the basis of that haircut and a few television commercials hawking cameras via the slogan ‘image is everything’ emerges as a man of parts—self-aware, black-humored, eloquent. Michael Kimmelman, The New York Review of Books
     
  • [A] heartfelt memoir . . . Agassi’s style is open, all right, and his book, like so many of his tennis games, is a clear winner. O, The Oprah Magazine
     
  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • One of the 2009 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • A 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Best Book for Nonfiction
  • A 2009 Washington Post Best Book for Nonfiction
  • A 2009 Entertainment Weekly “Must Read” for Nonfiction

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Teegan Loy | 2/17/2014

    " loved the book. Huge fan. Saw him play live several times with hair and without. Love the honesty. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bridget Fraser | 2/9/2014

    " Didn't expect to like this book as i thought it would be a standard dry sports autobiography but this was 100 times better. Told more like a story and gives some good insight into what he was thinking and feeling. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer Maul | 2/8/2014

    " Seemingly made a transformation from very self-involved to something much bigger. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dan Maffeo | 2/6/2014

    " My absolute favorite biography. Before I read, "Open" I knew fairly little about Agassi...but, the book got stellar reviews, so I thought I would give it a whirl. I was instantly hooked. It was just soooo good. Agassi gives the reader anything they can want in a beefy celeb Bio: an over-bearing father, drugs, celebrities, marital woes, AND most importantly an honest and raw behind the scenes look at the life of a pro athlete. (O yeah, there's some tennis in there, too!) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Toni | 2/6/2014

    " I have always been an Agassi fan - I loved watching him play tennis and following his "antics" with defying the rules and dating actresses. What I expected from his autobiography was nothing close to what I got. I don't think I have read such an honest account of a person's life. He lays everything out there for the world to see. He is forthright, accountable,and transparent. I give him tons of credit. When he talks about the school that he has built in Las Vegas, it is obvious how much he cares about education despite being a high school dropout. His enthusiasm makes one want to get involved. Great book, great tennis player, great human being. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jody Sloan | 1/29/2014

    " Late review I know but although not a huge tennis fan I always loved watching Agassi and Sampras play in their day. It was a great read and it is amazing to me how much detail he recalls in the matches of his career, when you think of the thousands of games, sets and matches! He is an enjoyable author to read and is a talented story teller! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tammy | 1/19/2014

    " Another great book by JR Moehringer. He tells the story beautifully. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alexandra Nash | 1/16/2014

    " The first book I ever downloaded on my very first Kindle, now many years ago! This is a well-written and enjoyable memoir, thanks to Agassi's interesting lif's story and collaboration with JR Moehringer (The Tender Bar and one of my faves!). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Astropixie | 1/16/2014

    " this was a lot better than i was expecting it to be. i enjoyed his history and stories a lot. there was a bit too much detail of individual matches, but that's my only complaint. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christy | 1/6/2014

    " so good! i've always loved agassi so it was fascinating to go inside his world and learn what life was really like for him. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 12/13/2013

    " A much better read than a lot of other autobiographies I've read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nengta Semmens | 12/5/2013

    " I love this book. I can feel his pain through his words. Great read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 April | 11/24/2013

    " Very very good. Only thing holding that fifth star is that it's still an autobiography of an athlete, and I'm still a girl who doesn't give a shit about athletics. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael | 10/8/2013

    " I thoroughly enjoyed this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Keith | 4/18/2013

    " So much self pitying and self loathing...gotta feel for him...his altruism inspires...GREAT TENNIS PLAYER "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jack | 9/1/2012

    " Half way through. I found it hard to get used to and quite americanised, but now over that and i am fully appreciating the book. So far 3.49 stars for me "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 7/25/2012

    " I know nothing about tennis or have any interest in it and thought this was such an interesting story about how Andre started out in tennis with his crazy Dad and the struggles he went through getting to the top. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 caroline | 7/22/2012

    " I loved this book. Agassi's journey is fascinating and it was refreshing to have him write so honestly after years of suppressing the truth. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 6/29/2012

    " I could not put this book down - it was addictive! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anna | 2/5/2012

    " Very interesting autobiography of the tennis player. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelly | 12/7/2011

    " Incredibly well written. Heartbreaking, funny, fascinating story even if you are not a tennis fan. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alexbookworm | 9/23/2011

    " loved it!very readable and enjoyable and a true lesson about life and performance. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Spolamr | 8/1/2011

    " I never took an interest in reading biographies and just happened to read Open by chance. Totally loved it. Interesting, at times inspiring. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carolyn | 7/25/2011

    " This was the first book I read on my Kindle and I enjoyed it very very much. I am an armchair tennis enthusiast, but I have heard from other people who are not that they enjoyed the book as much as I did. One of my coworkers who NEVER reads, enjoyed this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erin | 6/30/2011

    " I'm normally not a big autobiography fan, but this had me hooked form the first page. Great story, well told. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Todd | 6/28/2011

    " Probably one of the most interesting and honest autobiographies I've ever read. I'd definitely recommend this, even if you're not necessiarly a tennis fan. Really interesting to see Andre's view of his life and his tennis career. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marian | 6/26/2011

    " What a journey. You love him, you hate him, you feel sorry for him, you hate him, and then you love him again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Edengrace | 6/21/2011

    " Really interesting read, especially if you're a tennis fan and followed his career. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jean | 6/21/2011

    " Loved it - thought it was well written and had a hard time putting it down. Completely changed my opinion of who I thought he was. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Smithbmd | 6/19/2011

    " Really enjoyed this. A pleasant surprise. My 5 star review should have an asterix because I laughed and cried reading this under the influence of margaritas at a resort in Mexico while on duty in the room while the baby slept. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cheri | 6/17/2011

    " The beginning sucked - what a whiner. But then it got really really good, so stick with it if you do read it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Travis | 6/14/2011

    " This was a TERRIFIC read. A little long on the point-by-point description of key matches, but still very compelling. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stan | 6/11/2011

    " Loved this book and I am not an ardent tennis fan. Hard to put down and I would recommend it to anybody that likes a good biography. "

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About the Author
Author Andre AgassiAndre Agassi played tennis professionally from 1986 to 2006. Often ranked number one, he captured eight Grand Slam singles championships. Founder of the Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation, he has raised more than $85 million for the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy for underprivileged children in Las Vegas, where he lives with his wife, Stefanie Graf, and their two children.
About the Narrator

Erik Davies is an accomplished audiobook narrator and voice-over actor. His stage credits include G.R. Point, Unpublished Letters, and Flats Fixed. Some of his television and film appearances include ER, Third Watch, and a starring role in the hit indie comedy High Society: A Pot Boiler. His audiobook narration has won three AudioFile Earphones Awards.