When you hear Andre Agassi you automatically know he is one of 10 best players of the Open era. Is he 3rd, 5th or 7th? It depends which criteria we adopt, if the fact he won “golden slam” (4 majors plus Olympic gold medal) is crucial, adding he won also Masters and contributed to the Davis Cup triumph (three times), we can say he is the greatest one, because no other player notched “big 7”.
Whatever we can say about his place in the tennis history, it’s very interesting to know what makes that a prodigy becomes such a great champion. And the well written, dynamic book (interesting construction, first a vivid description of Agassi’s last winning match, then a chronological story of his fascinating, magical journey) reveals this process, allows to understand how important are other people in someone’s success, it tells us that without complicated relations with his father, a help of Gil Reyes in terms of physical fitness, and help of Brad Gilbert considering mentality, the American wouldn’t have achieved so much. Agassi is not only one of the greatest players, but also an icon of tennis, therefore it’s not a book only for tennis fans, it’s a book for sport’s lovers in general, maybe even for those who aren’t interested in sport, because Agassi with his label “image is everything” became an ingredient of the pop-culture. Perhaps it’s the reason I had an impression I was reading a novel not an autobiography, there are so many dialogues and monologues…
Obviously it makes an impact on a couple tennis-wise mistakes, nevertheless the book delivers description of prominent matches and on-court nuances concerning a few top players. Not too many scorelines out there, but on page No. 97 appear out of nowhere Agassi’s 3 scorelines of qualifying rounds to his first main-level tournament which you won’t find either on ATP or ITF websites.
This is the second book about a tennis player I have read this year, in some sense connected to the first one through the Shields’ family: Frank (the best friend of Sidney Wood) and his grand-daughter Brooke (Agassi’s former wife), protagonists of both books 🙂
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