Agassi Open

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Peggy, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. Peggy

    Peggy New User

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    I just finished reading Open. I wonder how much he is going to hurt his endorsement deals now. Will he always have an asterisk by his name with his 'confessions'? It did explain a lot of his career. I think the main benefit will be for 'tennis parents' but maybe people like that won't read it. There have been a lot of tennis players whose parents were like that including Steffi Graf's dad, Mary Pierce, Jelena Dokic and probably for every one of those a million more whose kids are just damaged goods. I am listening to the various interviews now and wondering who is telling the truth and who just is 'playing the part'. Our fantasy land of tennis professionals has been shattered but maybe we should all be grateful. What do you all think?
     
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  2. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I think he still did not reveal some things. Only stuff which cannot hurt him anymore and leaves his legacy intact was revealed.
     
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  3. Chadwixx

    Chadwixx Banned

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    He is a baby who took no accountability for his actions. Even at 27 it wasnt his fault. His story got old really fast and has many holes in it.

    Like sureshs said, he left out alot of things.
     
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  4. Peggy

    Peggy New User

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    What did he leave out? I am torn - part of me is angry but another part of me thinks it must be a very difficult life for these players and the pressure to support your entire family when you are young has to be told. Certainly he is so well off now but don't you think we are better to understand some of the costs of that?
     
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  5. Chadwixx

    Chadwixx Banned

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    A good example is how do you get off one of the most dehabilitating/addicting drugs and into atp shape for the AO in 4 months? Not only making it, but doing better than you were before? Something doesnt make sense.

    Look up meth users and look at them. He used for about 6-8 months (according to his first interview on 60mins).

    I still think meth = steroids (in his book). If he says steroids, his career (winning 5 of his 8 after using) doesnt look so good.
     
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  6. rod99

    rod99 Professional

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    clueless post.
     
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  7. Chadwixx

    Chadwixx Banned

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    Are you mentally challenged or just unable to elaborate on the parts you disagree with?

    Dumb roddick fan...
     
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  8. rod99

    rod99 Professional

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    roddick fan? what are you talking about? i can't stand roddick. good try though.

    you're making a claim that you can't come close to backing up. agassi would have been consistently tested for steroids during this time. he never tested positive. and i'm pretty sure that the ATP wouldn't have let a positive test slide by, especially with the meth test already on his record. there is a big difference b/n testing positive for a performance enhancing drug and testing positive for something like meth, which is completely opposite of a performance enhancing drug. if he'd tested positive for steroids then he'd have been immediately suspended.

    he also wasn't using meth daily like the meth users that you are talking about.
     
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  9. Chadwixx

    Chadwixx Banned

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    He used meth for 8 months and was only tested once after an obvious redflag/failed test? I think your putting a little to much faith in the atp. They are a business and arent going to shoot themselves in foot by discrediting the sport and running off their marquee player.

    Alot of athlete's got better at the age of 30 in 1997-98. It was the steroid era and agassi blew up physically in a very short time. Something that meth doesnt do.

    Rios said it best, you can make him pee in a cup all you want, it doesnt matter because they never test it.
     
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  10. rod99

    rod99 Professional

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    if you take anything that rios says for the truth then you're being fooled.

    he used it periodically during those 8 months. not all the time.

    unlike guys like sampras, agassi didn't go close to 100% in his 20s and thus, had a lot left in his 30s. not a lot of tennis players got better at 30 (agassi being the only one i know of) b/c tennis has a much stricter steroid testing policy than other sports, as well as a much stiffer penalty.
     
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  11. SplitStepper

    SplitStepper Rookie

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    Believe it or not, there is a huge difference between meth "user" and meth "abuser". Andre used meth. Trust me, that doesn't kill you and is quite easy to get over. Especially for someone as strong minded and disciplined as Andre Agassi. Its also pretty damn easy to pack on ten pounds of muscle for a professional athlete. I've done it twice without the use of steroids or a Gil Reyes tracking my every movement. What Andre has done for this world is such a gift and I think people should be a little more appreciative.
     
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  12. nfor304

    nfor304 Banned

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    There is that story that Rios told about how a random drug testing was about to take place and Agassi (though Rios didnt name Agassi specifically, but it was obvious who he was talking about) literally ran out of the locker room claiming his son had been kidnapped.

    I find it amazing that a player like Agassi who was known for cutting his practice sessions down to 15 mins a day when he felt like it in his 20's could all of a sudden become the fittest and best conditioned player on the tour in a matter of months and keep up that regime without burning out for years, while all the while going on periodic junk food binges.

    The most baffling part of this is that he went from being one of the most unfit guys around to being THE fittest and best conditioned guy out there. He was leading the tour in that aspect. No player before or since has done anything even remotely like that.

    Players like Chang and Courier completely burned out before they turned 30, but Agassi suffered no such effects. Even when Agassi was 36 he retired because of his back condition rather than the decline in his play. Agassi's transformation began in 1998, at 27, and he played until 36. Somehow he found a way to not burn out at all when players like Courier who worked just as hard on their fitness for the roughly the same periods of time were burned out in 4 or 5 years, Courier peaked at 21 and was over the hill by 25. Hell even the hardest workers in the past 10 years Hewitt and Nadal have fizzled out after 4 or 5 good years at the top. Either Reyes is the greatest trainer in the world or Agassi has a secret weapon that 99% of the tour aren't using.......
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2009
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  13. rod99

    rod99 Professional

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    again, you can't take anything that rios says as the truth. he's one of the biggest jerks in the history of sports.

    agassi's game was much different than than chang's and courier's. for one, agassi was much more talented which didn't force him to rely so much on hard work and training as chang and courier. he also took the ball much earlier which allowed him to do the dictating as opposed to being dictated (and eventually wearing out). courier/chang worked so hard off the court b/c they weren't as naturally talented and that put a lot more miles on their bodies than agassi. agassi's strokes were also fundamentally perfect and required little effort. that allowed him to play much longer than most.

    when agassi made the committment to fitness, it combined with his natural talent to allow him to have some of his best years when most players are declining.
     
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  14. nfor304

    nfor304 Banned

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    Please. Rios is far more credible than a guy that everyone now knows lied about using drugs for 12 years. That makes him a far bigger jerk and a fraud than Rios ever was.

    Courier style was fairly similar to Agassi's. He dictated from the baseline too. He and Agassi were among the first guys to transform the baseline game. I find it difficult to believe that a guy born with a natural capacity for hard work and self motivation like Courier would burn out so much more quickly and easily than someone like Agassi who only decided to get serious about his conditioning later in his career and was known for struggling with motivation for the entirety of his career. And who openly admits over and over again that he hates the very thing he is training for.


    Here's what a couple of guys who played with Agassi and other now known drug users had to say in 2000:


    John Van Lottum: "I wouldn't be surprised if 50% of the top100 uses. The risk you get caught is really small, if you do it smart. And if it happens you get a small suspension. And the tennisworld stays nice for you. Juan-Ignacio Chela is crowd puller in Amersfoort, Guillermo Coria got a wildcard in Monte Carlo. And Adidas signed Chela. A big shame. These guys should be on the front page with a big picture, to make clear they don't play it fair.

    Colleagues who were around the 60th place in the rankings, like me, dissapeared a couple of months from the circuit. They came back with a complete different body. "

    "I have big questionmarks at Guillermo Canas. I played against him on hardcourt, and after a set he was totally tired. He always had small injuries and got fast cramp. Now he is the fittest player in the circuit after Lleyton Hewitt and he makes the 4oth place in the rankings. How is that possible? Mariano Puerta is another example. He's number 300 of theworld, is gone for a while. Comes back and makes it #30. His raking gets worse, he's away for a while and gets to #30 again. His father is the guy who gave the drugs to Chela. Well, then one and one is two, right?"

    Paal Haarhuis: "Until a year or 5 ago, I thought tennis was kinda clean of drugs. But at one moment you hear too much around you. About players who don't use for a while, cos there are all kind of side-effects. Due to these stories I got aware that also a tennisplayer can benefit from certain stuff."
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2009
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  15. rod99

    rod99 Professional

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    i love all of the conspiracy theorists (rolling eyes)....

    agassi had way more natural talent than courier. courier had to compensate for that by training much harder than virtually anyone in the game. that puts a lot of miles on your body and eventually leads to burnout. courier also put a lot of miles on his body by constantly running around his backhand to hit forehands. that takes its effect after a while. he also couldn't take the ball as early as agassi.

    agassi's game was very similar to connors. and not surprisingly, both played until their mid-late 30s. they took the ball early and forced their opponents to do the running. it saved their bodies. plus, agassi didn't exert himself 100% in his early 20s (unlike courier, sampras, chang, etc) which allowed his body to remain fresh into his 30s.
     
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  16. rosenstar

    rosenstar Professional

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    there's different forms of meth, some with more addictive side effects than others. I'm sure Agassi has no idea exactly what he took (most casual drug user don't). His friend said it was meth, Agassi probably didn't inquire further.

    Also, Drug tests were spread apart and as another post said, relatively easy to avoid.

    I don't see any big holes in his biography. Everything seems to make sense to me.

    Also, I don't see why people care or are offended by his book? Nearly everyone has done drugs, been depressed, cheated, or done things they're ashamed of. Personally I really enjoyed the book and had no problem with anything Andre said.
     
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  17. Chadwixx

    Chadwixx Banned

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    Meth isnt a social drug. Highly addictive (especially for someone in a previous depressed state), its not weed. Not sure were talking about the same drug.


    "b/c tennis has a much stricter steroid testing policy than other sports, as well as a much stiffer penalty"

    This was disproven in a few threads here when the book came out. Tennis had the weakest testing policies of any sport.
     
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  18. Peggy

    Peggy New User

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    Wow - I certainly didn't mean to cause such a stir within the community. I don't know if there is any proof about steroids and I know that Gil Reyes and Agassi worked together on his fitness so I imagine that even though he was using some recreational drugs he probably still stayed in somewhat decent shape and from there to go to supreme fitness probably is doable in a few months. I agree that he probably didn't abuse his body as much as he had so many 'off times' during his career. The Williams Sisters come to mind as well with this kind of play for awhile, do something else for awhile and maybe that does extend how long you can play. Are there any former pros out there who can comment on this?
     
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  19. truetifoso

    truetifoso Rookie

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    I think the book is amazing, and I also think that Agassi was very courageous in admitting to his meth use.

    I think that people are way too judgmental. None of us could possibly imagine the pressure on him especially since it all came from living a life that he neither chose nor wanted.

    I do wish that he explained what happened with his best friend, Perry. He doesn't mention him in the last part of the book, and he doesn't thank him at the very end of the book.

    I also wish that he went into more detail about his relationship with Nike. They seemed to be such a big influence on his career especially in respect to creating the rebel image he so detested.
     
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  20. Fedexeon

    Fedexeon Hall of Fame

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    I am also currently reading the book. Still at Chapter 3.

    It surprised me how good he already was when he was only 9. He beat Jim Brown soundly when he was already 9. Although personally i don't know much about this Jim Brown guy, he is described as the best football player ever... then he must be some really good athlete, but Agassi beat him when he was only 9.. Total madness!

    It has been a good read so far.
     
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  21. egn

    egn Hall of Fame

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    Andre used meth. Jump off the steroid bandwagon. Who said Andre used steroids prior to his book release? Nobody. (Oh yes please say you did and lie to yourself) Same goes for Chadwixx. Andre wasn't hitting the ball harder in his 30s then 20s, he wasn't notably bigger for that matter either. He slimmed a bit and toned up. He had what most at the time felt was similar to that of Navratilova, an epiphany and realized unless he shaped up he was going to be wasted talent. He did some meth, probably dabbled in weed, coke etc. as well but performance enhancing drugs? Doubting it.

    Oh please Marcelo "I beat and cheat all the women" Rios is more credible then Andre. Marcelo Rios ran over his personal trainer at one point and apparently, lets not mention the physical fights he had with his second wife. The time he claimed some were from "skiing injuries."
     
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  22. Meanmachine22

    Meanmachine22 New User

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    I also just finished the book a few days ago and i have to say that i ( now ) have even more respect for Agassi.

    Why are so many people whining and *****ing about his confessions anyway ?
    It's pretty clear that he was and probably still is a tortured soul who was ripped apart inside for the better part of his life...

    AA is one of the most talented guys how ever walked on court.
    The first period of his career ( 1986 - 1997 ) he never ever was constant because there awas no really motivaion. He was only driven by demons and doubts.

    He used meth ? Yeah he did ! And what is the point ? He is only human and we all "loose" to this guy called tempation sometimes.

    Some guys around here say he was using steroids and stuff and explain that with a comparuison to guys like Chang & Courier : "No he can't play that long and be so damn fit ! Look at Chang. He burnt out! Why didn't Agassi burn out ? Blasphemy !! "

    You know what ? Fxxk that !

    Agassi brought so much to this game we all love and he is a perfect example for an athlete who struggled and managed not to fail in the end.
    If half of the professional athletes would have the guts to be that honest we might have less problems with performance enhancing drugs , cruel
    "Tennis - parents" or mental depression .
    It is all about money and the pressure is insane. That is the problem !

    This book is a killer to read and i am proud to be an Agassi fan.
    Even more now

    Cheers !
     
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  23. SplitStepper

    SplitStepper Rookie

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    no its not weed. and its stronger than coke. i put it almost on the same level as heroin. BUT, once again for someone like agassi, and most people who care about something other than themselves, its a simple decision to stop using. after that, if you spend 4 months with Gil keeping watch, your going to be tough as nails.
     
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  24. kslick

    kslick Rookie

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    Wow you do have any clue or any proof to back up your statement. Well speaking from experience you can get off meth and get yourself back. The mind can be a very powerful tool, so coming back stronger and better isn't that far off.

    Merry Christmas everyone!
     
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  25. Peggy

    Peggy New User

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    I think it was the Canon commercial "Image is Everything" and of course with cameras you create an "Image" so it was a double entendre where the press took it too far. I think as the public we need to realize more when we are being manipulated and refuse to be persuaded into something that doesn't feel right. I too feel for him but for all the good he did for tennis continuing to say that he 'hates it' certainly takes a toll on the sport. If he would say and now has said to Katie Couric that he is finding some enjoyment . . .
     
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  26. the mania

    the mania Banned

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    Wish the book had more on....

    1. Why he left Nike
    2. His paint job on the donnay frames
    3. His relationship with Jim while at nik's
    4. the last four years of his career were cover in a few pages, how about more detail on those years.
    5. finally, whatever happen to that private plane of his
     
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  27. Texastennis

    Texastennis Rookie

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    The very last scene in the book is clearly about him coming around to enjoying tennis - although his relationship with it is complicated and I'm not sure why people have such a hard time accepting that!

    Agree the last part is underdeveloped - not sure why. May be because of desire to protect Graf's privacy. The major omit for me is more about their relationship in the last six years of his career.

    Rogers - the book ends in 2006 when he and Rogers were fine. That's why he doesn't write about it as they didn't split until 2008. If he writes a sequel...

    Overall I liked it very much though and I really admire his willingness to be candid about things people often want to slide over. Not just the drugs either. Juts the reality that a lot of people (most people?) have complicated lives with lots of challenges and ups and doesn't.
     
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  28. ricflair

    ricflair New User

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    Why he doesnt give a thanks to nick bolletieri at the end of the books?
     
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  29. GS

    GS Professional

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    I bought Nick's book awhile back because I wanted to read Nick's confirmation that Agassi and Seles never paid him a dime after years of free training, housing, and food. He even housed Seles' family, and gave her father and brother paying jobs. Nick admits he was a lousy businessman, and just settled with handshake agreements beforehand with both players. When he asked for around $200,000 from these millionaires later, they stiffed him. Seles' father said he himself was her coach all along, then pulled his family out of Nick's academy. Agassi said his fame gave Nick and his academy lots of free publicity and didn't need to pay him anything. (Although he did give Nick a new Corvette and later on, 2 steak sandwiches at Wimbledon.) Later, after Becker got big results from Nick's academy, he paid Nick back in full, and more. So did Pierce.
    Hey, I'm not a fan of Bollettieri's---I just wanted to read his side of the story, so I did. More importantly, I wanted to see how much tennis he had in his brain all these years---as I expected, it wasn't much. Being an ex-Marine, he mostly just got these kids physically fit like crazy in hot n humid Florida at one of the first tennis academies in the world, so of course they went on to win Grand Slams.
     
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  30. Texastennis

    Texastennis Rookie

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    Why would he thank Bolletieri in the acknowledgments? For what?
    He's ok with NB in the book - disliked the academy intensely (but confirms very closely to what A Sports Illustrated story described a little earlier), then says they got on better once he was on the tour. I think he says they were frrieds then. He says he did pay NB a percentage of winnings, not a flat rate but NB wanted more in 93 shortly before NB dumped him. I thought he noted absolutely astutely that NB needed him for publicity etc for the academy - NB is STILL riding that, and if NB had had to pay for the use of the Agassi name it would have cost him millions of dollars... of which he hasn't paid a cent. (Or Agassi hasn't charged him a cent and he has charged numerous others millions of dollars for an Agassi endorsement during that time.) So I think NB whining about not being paid is total BS. He's more than had his money's worth from his association with Agassi.
    Seles I have no idea but I would deduce the same - the free association with her was worth a fortune. Plus I think NC is inclined to exaggerate his role in these players development. Agassi had the essential strokes he had when he went there. Hitting the ball early etc. Seles probably too. Both from their fathers. What NB did offer was good hitting partners of course and that's important in player development, but he didn't make these players. Now maybe some of the more recent ones who were there a lot younger, he may have had more impact on perhaps.
     
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  31. GS

    GS Professional

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    You're right---Agassi had no reason whatsoever to thank Bollettieri in his book's acknowledgements. None at all....
     
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  32. ricflair

    ricflair New User

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    At the end of book agassi give a thank to brooke shields and not for bollettieri:-?
    if you think then it s normal:cry:
     
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  33. Texastennis

    Texastennis Rookie

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    In the acknowledgments, he's thanking people who helped him with the book - so he thanks Shields and other people who read it in manuscript as it was being written. What's not normal about that? That's what you do in book acknowledgments.... What would be abnormal would be to add "oh and let me thank some guy who didn't have anthing to do with the book...."
     
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  34. LLTALLJ

    LLTALLJ New User

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    Andre didn't thank Perry in his book due to him suing Stephanie $50,000 for money owing i heard.
     
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  35. LLTALLJ

    LLTALLJ New User

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    Also NB gained financially a great deal from getting Andre to drop Prince and go with Donnay.
     
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  36. Alec78

    Alec78 Banned

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    I agree. Agassi acknowledges his loved ones and people who played important roles in publishing the book.

    I doubt Agassi asked Bollettieri to read an early draft or anything like that.
     
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  37. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    I think Agassi deserves more credit for putting out a really good book. Opinons on meth use and personality issues aside--it's a very interesting and readable book, among the best "sports autobiographies" I've read. It even does a fine job of describing tennis action, which must not be easy because it's not often done well.

    Obviously he had help, though no co-author is listed. In the acknowledgements at the end he starts by recognizing the guy (I forget the name) who declined to have his name on the jacket.

    I'm a lot bigger Sampras fan than an Agassi fan, and I suspect I might prefer Pete as a person or at least have more in common with him. It's never occurred to me to sit around a hotel room setting things on fire, for instance. I liked Pete's book, too, and recommend "The Mind of a Champion" to anyone. But I think "Open" is maybe 3 or 4 times better just in terms of being a good, entertaining book.

    I was left wondering about what became of poor Slim, the meth source. One chapter Andre's immersed in getting his premature baby to a hospital for specialty care and agonizing about the situation, then comes the ATP letter about the positive meth test and we just hear about the former assistant who Andre since fired. Adios, Slim.
     
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  38. big ted

    big ted Hall of Fame

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    what i found interesting in book is that agassi said that bollettieri talked him into switching to donnay even tho he didnt want to, in order to keep the tennis camp sponsored and out of bankruptcy... and then when agassi switched to head at '93 wimbledon, nick dumped him after the tournament... coincidence ?
     
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  39. ricflair

    ricflair New User

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    I don't believe Agassi about this story.Why Nick will propose to andre a switch for donnay?Nick is in contract with Prince until 20years.....It's stange
     
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  40. Joe Pike

    Joe Pike Banned

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    Because he wore a wig in 1990?
    Or because he took a recreational drug in 1997?

    Don't be silly.
    :lol:
     
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  41. Joe Pike

    Joe Pike Banned

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    Meth is no steroid.
     
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  42. Joe Pike

    Joe Pike Banned

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    BS.
    He was one of the fittest and most muscular players in the early/mid 90ies.
     
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  43. Gemini

    Gemini Hall of Fame

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    Just because you're a jerk, doesn't mean you're a liar. I have no real opinion on whether Agassi used "something" or not to enhance his condition. But to be fair to Rios...the guy may have been somewhat of a p----r but I've never heard anyone refer to him as liar.

    I do believe it is possible to go from "unfit" to the best shape of your life in a matter of months naturally. Agassi's in the fortunate position of having plenty of money and nothing but time to do so.
     
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  44. big ted

    big ted Hall of Fame

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    when agassi switched to donnay, bollettieri's academy switched to donnay sponsorship too, even at the entrance of the school, the giant racquet on the academy sign was changed to a donnay logo..
     
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  45. lendlmac

    lendlmac Rookie

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    I would like to buy this book next week and read for myself... his play peaks for itself...but his charcter is messed up...yet he does a lot for the children, etc...so, I guess he feels, he can't do no wrong...hiding it, or coming clean, then in 3-5 years, it's just a hiccup on his resume...
     
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  46. ricflair

    ricflair New User

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    look this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PF1kfJSia4

    Agassi play in donnay at the academy and the prince logo is everywhere
     
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  47. Chris De Tone

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    Messages:
    219
    I have never been a great fan of Agassi, but I am a great fan of tennis. I received this book for Christmas and finished it in 2 days. It is a very interesting read and I actually find myself liking him more now than I ever did during his playing career because of it. Despite his admitted shortcomings, let's give him some credit. It is a fascinating insight into the mind of one of the most popular athletes of all time. As for the content, I do not know him and I am sure that I will never have the chance to meet him so I will not judge the choices that he made. We all have our issues to deal with during our lives...just enjoy the book.
     
    #47
  48. 5th Element

    5th Element Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    Messages:
    163
    Finished reading it yesterday as the plane touched down. By far the best tennis biography I've read. Funny, full of emotion and a coach's dream.

    My opinion of Gil Reyes was excellent before I read the book but now he's been elevated to Über legendary status.

    That "you can stand on my shoulders" line half way through the book can make anyone cry in an instant.

    If only the rest of us were half as modest or as giving as Gil the world would be a better place!

    Must read!
     
    #48
  49. Lex

    Lex Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2009
    Messages:
    293
    I agree 100% with the above post.

    Agassi was very lucky to have such a great team of people in his life.


    "People are in your life for a reason, a season or forever" (Dr Joy Brown).
     
    #49
  50. tyro

    tyro New User

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Messages:
    77
    I agree, a terrific book. The meth use, which rightly became a huge story in the press, is almost an aside in the book. You don't get the impression that he was a heavy user.

    I think you could almost call the book a platonic love story about the relationship between Agassi and Reyes, who (as you noted) is really the hero of this book.

    When it came out a year or two ago, I read Pete Sampras' autobiography. It's interesting to read the two side by side.

    I wrote a short post about one difference that I found especially interesting: their preparations for their best runs at the French Open.

    http://tenniswire.wordpress.com/2009/12/08/parisian-appetites/

    --Tyro
     
    #50

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