This is the first sports memoir that I have read. I’m not a tennis fan, I’m not even a sports fan, but I enjoy athletics. Because of that, I could appreciate the parts that involved kinesiology and Agassi’s experience with pushing physical his boundaries and (as he copes with aging) pushing a body that doesn’t do what it once did.
Since I know nothing about sports, I often got lost when he described some of his matches at length. I listened to the audiobook, so through the timber of the reader’s voice, I was able to get a sense of the rising stakes and the meaning of certain points or misses for the overall match.
Agassi is an interesting guy who lives a rich life. There are a lot of things that he cares about deeply that are beyond winning at tennis. Since he is not the kind of athlete that turns off his mind as soon as he gets onto the playing field, his interior life shows itself in his game, turning every match into a drama.
Agassi is also unique as an athlete because he spends his unusually long career swiveling between the top and the bottom. He goes from the number 1 ranked player to number 141, back to number 1. The book details a lot of painful losing streaks (tending to ignore the winning streaks) and he talks at length about the lessons he’s learned from those losses.
I liked getting to know Agassi as a person as well into the glimpse into the world of professional tennis.