Nov 9, 2009

Read Andre Agassi like an "Open" book

Let's give credit to the cover designer - the messed-up look helps sell the book.

Honestly, I haven't get hold of Andre Agassi's latest controversial memoir "Open: An Autobiography" yet, but anyone would know this is a book you don't want to miss whether you're a tennis fan or not.

Here are some of the interesting facts that you can find in that autobiography:

On Substance Abuse: Agassi recounts how, when he was a kid, his father would give him Excedrin before matches because it contained caffeine.

Agassi also writes how his father gave him what Agassi believes to be speed. At various points of the book he also mentioned about using marijuana and alcohol.

Agassi called crystal meth "a performance inhibitor" and said, "Everything I earned on the tennis court, I actually had to probably earn more than I needed to, because of many of the things I did to myself."

Agassi however denied he ever took performance-enhancing substances as a professional.

On Pete Sampras: Agassi says Sampras "sounds more robotic than" a parrot. At his depths, Agassi thinks: "I envy Pete's dullness. I wish I could emulate his spectacular lack of inspiration, and his peculiar lack of need for inspiration." Agassi tells of betting coach Brad Gilbert about how much Sampras tipped a parking valet; they ask the valet, who says $1; Agassi's conclusion: "We could not be more different, Pete and I."

On Michael Chang: "He thanks God - credits God - for the win, which offends me. That God should take sides in a tennis match, that God should side against me, that God should be in Chang's box, feels ludicrous and insulting. I beat Chang and savor every blasphemous stroke." When Chang wins the 1989 French Open, Agassi thinks, "I feel sickened. How could Chang, of all people, have won a slam before me?"

On other opponents: Agassi writes about holding grudges against Becker (who Agassi says blew kisses at Shields during a match), Jim Courier, Thomas Muster, Yevgeni Kafelnikov, Jeff Tarango (who Agassi says cheated during a match between them when Agassi was 8).

On "tanking": Agassi says he lost on purpose against Chang in the Australian Open semifinals one year so he wouldn't have to face Becker in the final, writing: "It's almost harder than winning. You have to lose in such a way that the crowd can't tell." He also says of sports writers: "They never get it right. When I tank, they say I'm not good enough; when I'm not good enough, they say I tank."

On his fake hair: Of the 1990 French Open final, Agassi writes, "Warming up before the match, I pray. Not for a win, but for my hairpiece to stay on."

On the 1999 French Open final, which he won to complete a career Grand Slam: "I've already obsessed about this tournament for the last 10 years. I can't bear the idea of obsessing about it for another eighty. ... If I don't win this thing right now, I'll never be happy, truly happy, again."

To purchase the book, you can order from Amazon (click on the link below) or go to your nearest book store.

(Via AP)

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