I just finished this book and truly enjoyed it. It was probably a little extra special and appreciated due to the fact that I had worked my way through Nadals biography a few days before, word by word, match point by match point. I know a lot about tennis now. From knowing absolutely nothing to feeling involved. The difference is that Agassi had a story to tell. Nadal had a tennis lesson to give.
Agassi hated tennis from day one, he grew up with a close to crazy father who had put his mind on creating a tennis pro. Not just a pro really; he had to become No 1. So he did. Andre hated tennis as a little boy and he hated it til the end but in some ways you read between the lines and understand that he appreciated what his father had put him through, what he learned and not to mention what he achieved in the long run. As a result of his fathers obsession with tennis practice 24/7 it caused him to more or less fail school so what I admire most about him is the great thing he created from his fame, money and hard work throughout the years as a pro; a school for troubled children in Vegas, a city where the school system and government had failed to educate a large number of young people. A school for children with troubled and broken families with no chance for education.
He found it ironic creating a school, making the students wear uniforms and seeing the beauty of education when he himself was the rebel who hated school and felt claustrofobic in classrooms as a kid but in time realised that without it you can loose so many opportunities in life. He didn’t quite get the chance to focus and obviously went against it instead.
It’s a very personal and heartfelt book, he shares his stories about his family, about his relationship with Brooke Shields and the love for his wife Steffi Graff.
I love autobiographies and this is one of the better. I’ve also read Beckers book and will start Sampras’ now.