Andre Agassi: 'I was disappointed by Nadal and Federer's reactions about my book'
Tennis - Interviewed by El Pais, the former world no. 1 speaks about his book 'Open'
Interviewed by El Pais, Andre Agassi openly spoke about his book 'Open', published in 2009, where the former world no. 1 revealed his hatred for tennis and the crazy practice sessions his father forced him to have. About his relationship with his father, Agassi said, 'Our relationship nowadays is good, the best possible,' before characterizing his book as, 'A part of it deals with the forgiveness. Forgiving yourself, your parents, what they have been and what they have not. I did the best I could. I understand it very late, but it's okay. Not everyone are like you want they are, you accept for how they are.
'The most difficult thing was in the first page: saying that I hated tennis. I hated tennis until I was 27. I felt like a soldier who was going to the war. You are there pretending something you aren't, behaving like if you are committed but at the end of the day you are not doing it. In this book I wanted to make people understand how my life was, and describing myself I realized about the similarities with the other people's experiences. My intention was not that people knew better myself but that they knew better themselves. Sometimes, hearing about the other people's lives and problems, you can see it in yourself. We all go through a process and not always it's easy. Some cases are more painful than others, but the life is a painful lesson to learn about. In tennis you deal constantly with the future, you have to put aside the past. For me, the challenge was to live the present.'
It's very interesting what he said about the best players' opinions about his book. 'There have been some reactions, I expected it. But I think it would have been more respectful to comment if they had red the book and reflected on it. And to be honest it's not that I saw many people do it (laughs). I was disappointed by Rafa Nadal's reaction (the Spaniard had said that Agassi hurts tennis). I understood that, like Federer (who described himself as disappointed and shocked) was protecting tennis. Probably they love the sport, but they didn't reflect that. Anyway, I wasn't afraid to read the book. It's always better to say the truth instead of the fearness.'