Monday, May 3, 2010


After a few days of reading and learning more about tennis than I have in my entire life, I have finished Agassi's autobiography, Open.

I found the beginning more refreshing - in a sense, learning about the early self of Agassi, and I found the whole book an interesting read. Although an autobiography, what you do learn a lot about it is AKA's relationship to and with tennis. I found myself cheering for him at times, and cringing at others. I really appreciated his voice, and laying parts of his life bare - his failed relationships and his brief flirtation with drugs. It feels like an honest read, and one in which you can see his character mature and grow up within the sport of tennis. This is a good book to read even if you aren't a tennis fan. It's funny, being about the same age I was aware of AKA, and some of the tennis rivalry's, and that he had been with BS... but it is different reading about it from his perspective, and his voice. In another decade, it would be be similarly interesting to read an autobiography of Crosby, as he has matured and grown up in the limelight of hockey.

Towards the end, a passage really struck a chord with me - AKA is speaking of who he has become, as he leaves tennis and embarks on his life with his family - "What people see now, for better or worse, is my first formation, my first incarnation. I didn't alter my image, I discovered it. I didn't change my mind. I opened it." Agassi, p372.

He doesn't envision himself as someone who has transformed, but formed. I like this idea - I joke about the many selves I seem to have been over the years, but you know, I like this idea of me "forming" over the years rather than transforming from one self in to another self. I like the idea that what has been happening is me opening my mind, and seeing the world with eyes that are gradually being opened and learning new things. What I have been through are experiments of self, figuring out myself, and it's funny to have read such insight in this book.

Books are always full of surprises, like people, when you least expect it you find a rich plum that you will bring in to the future with yourself.

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