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Open: An Autobiography. Home · Open: An Autobiography Author: Andre Agassi Open: An Autobiography · Read more. Andre Agassi Open Pdf Italiano Download >> cittadelmonte.info Read Open PDF - An Autobiography by Andre Agassi Knopf | From Andre Agassi , one of the most beloved athletes in history and one of the.

An Autobiography For Stefanie, Jaden, and Jaz One cannot always tell what it is that keeps us shut in, confines us, seems to bury us, but still one feels certain barriers, certain gates, certain walls. Is all this imagination, fantasy? I do not think so. And then one asks: My God!

Now and then he checks his long black hair in the side mirror or rearview. Other days they make you laugh.

Andre Agassi Open an Autobiography

I say. No one but me touches my tennis bag. I feel as if I can lift a car over my head. I keep it meticulously organized. I need it just right. I need my eight rackets stacked chronologically in the tennis bag. I sign a few autographs. My questions about Baghdatis are these: How will he try to hurt me? If I hit a backhand cross-court to start a point. How aggressive do I want to be tonight? Tennis is about degrees of aggression. I think if you get too conservative on your rally shot.

Darren and I drop our bags and walk straight to the training room. Darren says. Gil goes off to consult with security. I ask Darren for his thoughts on Baghdatis. Does he move well? The bag is what I carry onto the court. I obsess about my bag.

You want to be aggressive enough to control a point. I lie on a table and beg the first trainer who comes near me to knead my back. As far as his backhand goes.

He sets them atop my bag. I always start a match with the racket strung least recently. So if you find he is hitting backhands up the line. If someone were to slip a pair of argyle socks into my tennis bag. We pull up to the stadium.

Fans are milling about. He knows I want to place them in the bag myself. The bag is my briefcase. I see. Will he step up and jack that routine crosscourt.

Darren ducks out and returns five minutes later.

I walk down a long tunnel and into the locker room. I like order and cleanliness. Roman laces in the synthetic strings. A millimeter difference. I obsess about the few things I can control.

Disorder is distraction. My grip is as personal as my thumbprint. James has been at the U. He tightens them.

The raw rackets come to Roman in a great big box from the factory. Then he wraps the mold with calfskin. He starts by removing the factory grip and putting on my grip. Just the opposite: He spins them. At last he begins. I take a gulp of Gil Water. Old World. Darren opens two cans of balls and shoves two balls in his pocket. With the grip just so. Roman has a mold of my grip. My racket stringer is old school. When I pull a fresh racket from my bag and try to serve out a match.

Given all that lies beyond my control. To the naked eye they look identical. The stencil rubs off on the balls.

Some stringers stencil the rackets right before match time. So vital is Roman to my game that I take him on the road. It reminds me of the singular importance in this world of a job done well. We security guards are supposed to be impartial. Open almost as long as I have. Then he stencils them and vigorously waves them through the air.

He looks sad. I walk to the stands. I know. James always makes sure to be the one behind my chair. There are people you count on seeing at the U. They help you remember where and who you are. I vowed then and there that I would always carry my own. I remember. I got it. Baghdatis will hurt you with that. James is at the top of that list. And you say he moves well? It always makes him chuckle.

We hit for twenty-eight minutes. Trust me. Then I say: Open—office staffers. He knows that this could be our last night together. James is a bit like Gil. Just take care of business. During a grueling match. Ever since We emerge into a dusky September night. He says the same thing he always says: Let me help you with that bag. James says. His inability to remain impartial is endlessly charming. Seeing him. I got your back. There are four practice courts.

Just wanted to help. No time for coaching or crying. A messy business. I feel better than I did when I opened my eyes this morning. Of course tomorrow there will be severe physical consequences. There is a TV above the training table. They instantly become part of my skin. ONE OF the senior trainers. Everything goes in.

My third shower of the day is short. The air is filled with a buzzing. She sends me back into the locker room: Moments ago the stadium was quiet. Jaden and Jaz are taking turns on the plastic slide. Stefanie sees. I lie on one of six training tables. I might be able to do this. I slip on dry shorts.

My back feels OK. This thing should have started already! Come on! I love the way my wife spoils for a fight. I feel good—though. Her frown says. I have no say over its contents. I can tell. First he takes a long Q-tip and applies an inky goo that makes my skin sticky. I can tell which of his trays is for me: Next come the strips of tape. My mind is far away. I walk down to the offices and look in on the secretaries and officials of the U. Normal stiffness. Do what you need to do.

Stefanie is grateful. Back inside the locker room I pull off my sweaty clothes and jump in the shower. Finally he tapes the bottoms of my feet. I drink more Gil Water. Stefanie and the children have arrived. She looks almost irritated. I talk to her and the children for a few minutes.

He lets that dry. He knows my pressure points. I step through a small door. She feels. I like that Pere is tidy. The cortisone is working. Now Pere sprays on skin toughener. I thank him. The back is holding. I try a jog down the hall.

For a moment I feel jealous. Their faces. We who are about to die … I duck into the tunnel for one last word with Gil.

Open: An Autobiography

Then I run a hand over my bare scalp and feel grateful that. He puts his arms around me. Not bad. Nothing is quite so unsettling as watching your opponent do pilates. I stand. Good luck. I can almost hear his central nervous system. He gets it perfect. Baghdatis sees me and smiles. My pugnacious bride. Baghdatis begins stretching. I hear every word she refuses to utter: I see in her face everything she wants to say but will not let herself say.

I miss my hair. All systems go. Go kick some butt. This is what she wants to say. He stands on one leg and pulls one knee to his chest. Across the locker room I see Baghdatis. I watch the interaction between him and his coaches. I remember my hair issues early in my career. She tries a smile but it ends up a wince. I find Stefanie and give her one last kiss. I raise a hand. A good omen. A decidedly more glamorous pre-match ritual than cushioning your toe calluses.

He raises a hand. I always like my opponent and his team to show nervous energy. Baghdatis stays three paces ahead as we move toward the light. I tell myself: Stop noticing such things. The tunnel is meatlocker cold. What time is it? Go time. Last things: I lace up my shoes. Time to narrow your mind. Suddenly a second light. James again leading the way. Five minutes. I mean. I tie my shoes. Is it seven thirty? Seven twenty?

A TV camera. I nod. We stop. I always tape my own wrist. I turn to someone and ask. I know Darren is tearing up. Darren and I turn to each other. I look to the side. Just one bump. By careful prearrangement. The portraits are three feet tall and spaced evenly—too evenly. There along the walls are the familiar photos of former champions.

He seems to be in charge of network coverage and on-court security. The head of security yells. We walk. I tape my wrist. I know this tunnel as well as I know the front foyer of my house. He seems to be in charge of everything. I walk into the tunnel. The buzzing sound all around us becomes louder. But there are no clocks. He holds out his fist for a bump. A reporter asks Baghdatis how he feels.

Now the cheers triple. He takes risks. The crowd gets louder as we find our way to our chairs. I let him go. I see the finish line. I keep my eyes lowered. I win the second set. He expects to play the villain tonight. A trick of the trade. The buzzing is now deafening.

Cortisone and adrenaline. On the contrary. In the third set I start to tire. I can do nothing to slow the Baghdatis onslaught. The ball now disobeys me and conspires with him. My mortality now a. He wins the third set. He reads the papers. Always the most abnormal part of my life. Then I resume walking. I lose focus and control.

Baghdatis turns and realizes the first cheer was for him. I let him think the crowd is cheering for both of us. He knows how much attention my retirement has been getting. It consistently bounces his way. I see the confidence shining from his eyes.

He plays with desperation. He starts to live in the now. Baghdatis bursts through first. So does my back.

They love this moment. The crowd feeds on our anger. The temperature rises dramatically as we near the door to the court.

The ball obeys my every command. The court. Now the camera is closer to my face and the reporter is asking the same question. I wonder how they would feel if they knew my secret.

He hates me. Then I walk out. Could be your last match ever. His initial despair has turned to hope. I stare at the court. How does that make you feel? I answer. My body feels warm. I look over at Baghdatis. I scream at myself. His left quad is strained. He did that to me on a strained quad? The crowd uses the lull in the action to chant.

Thanks for the memories. We play at a furious pace. He wins the set. If I lose. I feel the magnetic force. I give him the next point. We walk to our chairs. But instead the lull seems to have disrupted his. They hold up signs with my name. He wins the next point also. I take a sip of Gil Water.

We ride a seesaw. Having just broken me to take the lead in the match. Advantage Baghdatis. He digs in. I give it back. I dig in deeper. Backhand into the net. Do not let it end this way. Here comes the biggest game of the match. I tell myself. If I win this game. Then I feel the other force pushing. He breaks me to go 4—1. I hear the crowd murmuring the first Agassi eulogies. At last Baghdatis is ready to go. I grab a 4—0 lead.

They start a wave. He goes for broke. Our night will begin again. His serve. I win the next point. Twenty minutes ago I was two games from winning and advancing. Shake it off. The fifth set begins. He holds serve to go 4—2. I know it and he knows it and everyone in this stadium knows it. I retake command of this set and reestablish in his mind—and mine—that he was fortunate to get one break back. He makes a mistake. Baghdatis starts to play his best tennis of the year. I start to take my own risks.

Of all ways. Baghdatis is talking to himself also. Deuce again. When your mind and body teeter on the verge of all-out collapse.

As he writhes on the ground I realize: All I have to do is stay upright. This will no longer be tennis. I nearly squander my pardon. At deuce. Baghdatis hits a winner to the open court and as I watch it sail by I know that for the rest of this night my best effort is behind me. I slump forward. I look across the net to see if Baghdatis has noticed my pain. Baghdatis hits a swift forehand that sweeps me out of position.

Baghdatis too has stopped strategizing. The spinal column is locked up and the nerves inside are keening. For the next six games we each hold. No more jabs. I hit another tentative second serve just to get the point going and somehow he flubs an easy forehand. We grunt like animals. I break him. Deuce number three. Back on his feet. I make my second and he returns it wide. I sling the ball over the net—screaming in agony—and he hits another scorcher to my backhand. Flags go limp against the poles.

Even the wind stops. I scurry in the opposite direction—oh. I miss my first serve. He falls to the ground. Advantage Agassi.

Baghdatis grimaces. When you play someone wounded. Whatever I do from this point on will be limited. I barely get there in time to put my racket on it. Everyone in the stadium stops breathing. At 40— Nothing but roundhouses and haymakers. I close my eyes. I abandon all thought of subtlety and strategy. I say to myself. He wins the point. I miss my first serve again. Another gift. And yet. We play an absurdly long point. I make another first serve. Baghdatis is leaning on his racket. The box is now the size of a playing card.

When I miss a first serve. He nets. A choke. My back. I watch it gradually diminish in size. While waiting for my next serve. I promise myself that if I gain the advantage again. The guy has as much heart as he has hair. Every ball I hit. We have a long rally. The box is shrinking. Deuce number seven. I hit to his forehand. I want to crush a second serve. Deuce number five. He quickly wins the next point. I send him side to side until he yowls in pain and hits the ball into the net.

Easier said than done. I catch it on the rise and hit it twenty feet over him and the baseline. Awaiting my serve. I toss the ball. Every ball he hits. I serve. I can barely turn. Three-quarter kick. I feel for him. Stick to basics. Physically I cannot. I hit a timid first serve. Deuce number four. Run him. I recall my twice-broken promise. On the next point he hits a forehand several feet beyond the baseline.

Deuce number six. His fourth break point of this game. I hit far wide. Do anything you like. Darren and Gil arrive. Big mistake. And then he gets out and holds serve. Never sit when cramping. Lie down. During the changeover I watch Baghdatis sit. Stretch out. Is it a cramp? At 5—all. Baghdatis hits a workmanlike return. I meet Baghdatis at the net. Baghdatis finally whips a backhand into the net. He scampers toward it. He hits a wild forehand. I manage to make a first serve.

On the twenty-second point of the game. A quick. Must keep moving. I counterpunch and win. It says. He goes up 40— I lead. Then I win the next point. I fight him to deuce. Deuce number eight.

The crowd screams in disbelief. I stagger through the tunnel. Double fault. With three-quarters of his court wide open. Just kidding! Your body is like the federal government. I punch the ball deep to his backhand. Of course. It even exerts a faint centrifugal force.

Just let go. I hear my name coming from the TV. I love you. I turn to see Baghdatis extending his hand. I turn my head slowly and see Baghdatis on the next table. I do the only thing I can do. I hear moans to my left. The third. I turn my head.

Everyone clears out of the locker room. The commentator calls it a classic. Baghdatis starting to believe. Something to do while you wait. His face says.

Happy or nervous? Maybe both. I just close my eyes and watch. The first two sets. A trainer. I try to watch. Just release. As if a second TV above me were showing highlights from the last twenty-nine years.

But that word comes closest. Moments later something makes me turn back to Baghdatis. More than anything else. Highlights from the match. In my peripheral vision I detect slight movement.

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I stop fighting it. And because my mind notes and records the slightest details. He tries to lie flat. We did that. Darren is helping someone put ice on my body. No longer asking politely. I turn back to the TV. I see everything with bright. Your body is clenched. They stretch his hamstring. I reach out.

The fourth. He curls into a ball and begs them to leave him be. His team is working on him. He turns on the TV above the table. I smile back. The fifth. They stretch his quad. Midnight black. As pressure builds inside its throat. No matter how much I want to stop.

But when the dragon takes dead aim at me and fires a ball miles an hour. My father has deliberately made the dragon fearsome. My father yells everything twice. Put down your racket and walk off this court. I keep begging myself to stop. Sucking another ball into its belly. Feel tiny. The dragon has a brain. At the moment my hatred for tennis is focused on the dragon. To just quit? To never play tennis again? Play with Rita. Under my breath I whisper: Just quit. I look tiny. But when standing before the dragon.

Not only would my father chase me around the house with my racket. Sit with Mom while she knits or does her jigsaw puzzle. I flinch every time. For a moment the dragon sounds almost silly. Hit earlier. No matter how hard I hit a ball. My father wants the dragon to tower over me not simply because it commands my attention and respect.

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