With Novak Djokovic’s life on court continuing to unravel after his unceremonious dumping out of the French Open tournament, his relationship with his newly-hired coach Andre Agassi will be more vital than ever. As the finals of the male and female take place this weekend (Agassi is the last American male to win in Paris), here are eight quotes from the Las Vegan’s seminal autobiography Open. Published in 2009, three years after his retirement, it tells of the 47 year old’s struggle in losing is childhood to tennis, being a prodigy, his rivalries with other competitors and fall down the ranking after years of success. The hugely honest and insightful memoir also tells of his inspirational recovery to the top of the game and later contentment in retirement. You can also see my review of the book here.
It’s no accident, I think, that tennis uses the language of life. Advantage, service, fault, break, love, the basic elements of tennis are those of everyday existence, because every match is a life in miniature. Even the structure of tennis, the way the pieces fit inside one another like Russian nesting dolls, mimics the structure of our days. Points become games become sets become tournaments, and it’s all so tightly connected that any point can become the turning point. It reminds me of the way seconds become minutes become hours, and any hour can be our finest. Or darkest. It’s our choice.
There’s a lot of good waiting for you on the other side of tired. Get yourself tired…
Hate brings me to my knees, love gets me on my feet.
Big dreams, are so damn tiring.
This is why we’re here. To fight through the pain and, when possible, to relieve the pain of others. So simple. So hard to see.
You know everything you need to know about people when you see their faces at the moments of your greatest triumph.
Life is a tennis match between polar opposites. Winning and losing, love and hate, open and closed. It helps to recognise that painful fact early. Then recognise the polar opposites within yourself, and if you can’t embrace them, or reconcile them, at least accept them and move on. The only thing you cannot do is ignore them.
I think older people make this mistake all the time with younger people, treating them as finished products when in fact they’re in process. It’s like judging a match before it’s over, and I’ve come from behind too often, and had too many opponents come roaring back against me, to think that’s a good idea.
Sport and life – life and sport
For sure. There are so many great stories in sport. Shame so many autobiographies are poor. That’s why the great ones stand out even more.
One of my favorite books…even for the non-tennis fan! Excellent!
I’d never read a sports book so honest. I’d been told it was revealing but it really was no-holds barred. So much sadness and anger and yet joy and fulfilment within too.
Great quotes, very inspiringI always thought he was pretty too 😜
His mullet was legendary. Headband too. It reminds me of the Barry Goldberg episode.
That was a funny episode
“You cannot be serious!”
He is a great guy, I love the man, the tennis player and … Novak’s coach! Did you watch Andy’s match yesterday, my goodness that was quite something? Pity he lost, but he is still my fav tennisman! Have a great weekend, Alex…
I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. If you’d offered Murray the semis before the tournament started he would have taken it. He admitted it. A real warrior. Glad his form and health are better. Currently watching the Rafa masterclass.
Thank you for sharing these quotes! I’ve heard for years that his is one of the best memoirs out there- now I’m going to have to go and read it!
I thought my review was persuasive ha. He’s so startlingly honest and perceptive. Even if you didn’t like tennis I’d recommend it.
It really is inspirational how he got right back to the top of the game!
No other player in the modern age of the sport has fallen so far down but then got back to the top. A true inspiration.
Such poignant words from a true champion.
For sure. Always a joy to hear him speak. And he’s still the only player to win all four Grand Slams, the Davis Cup, Year End Finals and an individual Olympic gold medal.
Very nicely chosen quotes of Andre Agassi. I liked the idea of not assuming or predicting when it comes to people. So often they are slow starters and come up from behind! Thanks, Alex.
I know. That stood out too. I wrote a glowing review of it, but it’s still his words that stand out. I was only going to choose one for a Line(s) but there were too many to choose from.
It was good to know and find out how articulate Andre Agassi was, Alex.
He’ll be at Wimbledon so interesting to see how it goes with Djokovic. I hope Andy can hold onto his number one status a little longer.
You are so informative on many subjects! My brothers keep me up to date with Cleveland Indians ⚾ in summer and I did watch the Cavs and texted them, rooting together by phone. 🏀
What a fun memory. Go Cleveland!
I do like to loosely follow tennis and the great players! 🎾
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