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November 12th, 2009
06:00 AM ET

'Open' by Andre Agassi

Open: An Autobiography
By Andre Agassi

EXCERPT – THE END

I open my eyes and don’t know where I am or who I am. Not all that unusual—I’ve spent half my life not knowing. Still, this feels different. This confusion is more frightening. More total.

agassi.book

I look up. I’m lying on the floor beside the bed. I remember now. I moved from the bed to the floor in the middle of the night. I do that most nights. Better for my back. Too many hours on a soft mattress causes agony.
I count to three, then start the long, difficult process of standing. With a cough, a groan, I roll onto my side, then curl into the fetal position, then flip over onto my stomach. Now I wait, and wait, for the blood to start pumping.

I’m a young man, relatively speaking. Thirty-six. But I wake as if ninety-six. After three decades of sprinting, stopping on a dime, jumping high and landing hard, my body no longer feels like my body, especially in the morning. Consequently my mind doesn’t feel like my mind. Upon opening my eyes I’m a stranger to myself, and while, again, this isn’t new, in the mornings it’s more pronounced. I run quickly through the basic facts. My name is Andre Agassi. My wife’s name is Stefanie Graf. We have two children, a son and daughter, five and three. We live in Las Vegas, Nevada, but currently reside in a suite at the Four Seasons hotel in New York City, because I’m playing in the 2006 U.S. Open. My last U.S. Open. In fact my
last tournament ever. I play tennis for a living, even though I hate tennis,
hate it with a dark and secret passion, and always have.

As this last piece of identity falls into place, I slide to my knees and in a whisper I say: Please let this be over.

Then: I’m not ready for it to be over.

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Filed under: Sports
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. A Christian

    I have been watching CNN since the Haiti Quake, Why cant
    FedX bring Medical supplies to help all these human beings
    that desprately need help Dominican Republic has FedX All the medicall supplies could be donated from Pharmecuticle suppliers

    why didint they put heavy equipment on these ships to push roads
    and clear the way WHO IS THE RAMROD PLEASE LET ME

    January 20, 2010 at 10:50 pm |
  2. ANNE

    Imagine someone stripping you bare and then shoving you out into Main St. traffic. you feel fear, anger, vulnerability, self consciousness. You feel the whole world is staring at your inadeqaucy and yet you have no control of the situation. Kids with overbearing ,controling parents know these emotions all too well. I have heard these kids say' I would rather my father beat me than make me feel like I am disappointing him'. Sometimes emotioal abuse is worse than physical abuse. Bruises can heal but you often carry the emotional scars forever. Hope Andre has taken back his life and found the understanding and fullfillment in his own family unit. Good luck to him.

    November 21, 2009 at 9:21 am |