One of the most beloved athletes in history and one of the most gifted men ever to step onto a tennis court –
Meet Andre Agassi
In conversation with renowned Miami Herald Sports Editor Edwin Pope
Discussing his new autobiography, OPEN (Knopf, $28.95)
Monday, November 16, 2009, 6:30pm
Temple Judea | 5500 Granada Boulevard | Coral Gables
TICKETS are required for this event and available at all Books & Books locations. Your purchase of OPEN ($28.95, plus tax) entitles you to one (1) ticket to his presentation, while supplies last. The bottom, stub portion of your ticket can be redeemed for your of Open at any Books & Books location or at the Nov. 16, 2009 event. Open is scheduled to be released on Nov. 9, 2009.
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 help 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.
About the Author
Andre Agassi began his professional tennis career when he was sixteen years old. Upon retiring twenty-one years later, after the 2006 U.S. Open, he’d captured sixty men’s singles titles, including eight Grand Slam singles championships. Agassi is the only man ever to win all four Grand Slam titles and an Olympic gold medal. Agassi and his wife Stefanie Graf are co-chairs of Agassi Graf Holdings, a private company that focuses on lifestyle businesses, endorsement relationships, joint-venture investments and real estate. As co-chairs, Agassi and Graf are actively involved in every facet of business, providing creative input at every stage and making all final decisions. In 1994 Agassi launched the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education, dedicated to transforming public education in the U.S., particularly for children not adequately served by the state. Agassi’s foundation seeks to spark reform by forming partnerships with other foundations, and by providing a shining paradigm in the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, a K-12 charter school located in the most socioeconomically disadvantaged community of Agassi’s hometown, Las Vegas. Agassi Prep opened its doors in 2001 and graduated its first class in June 2009, with each senior going on to college. Agassi gave the commencement address. “Dare to plan” he told the students. “It will seem at times that life is trying to thwart your plans, but that’s not life, or God, that’s just the nature of plans. They unravel, because they’re manmade. You’ll be fine as long as you remember that you don’t need to unravel, because you’re not manmade. You’re miracles.”
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