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The man, the myth, the rebel
By Anuradha Weeraman profile image Anuradha Weeraman
2 min read

The man, the myth, the rebel

As we get ready for another Wimbledon finals between Federer and Djokovic in a few hours, I look back upon a past champion whose story I was lucky to read about this weekend.

Here’s the opening that clinched my interest:

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.
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 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 96. After two decades of sprinting, stopping on a dime, jumping high and landing hard, my body no longer feels like my body. Consequently my mind doesn’t feel like my mind. 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 a daughter, five and three. We live in Las Vegas 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.

Open: An Autobiography, by Andre Agassi

The story of his rebellious childhood, dominating father, meteoric rise, the falls, substance abuse, rivalry with Sampras, ’99 win at Roland Garros, and his eventual discovery of his life’s mission and purpose was an amazing and inspiring story of the trials and tribulations of a true sporting legend.

“ You will hear lots of applause in your life fellas, but none will mean more to you than that applause from your peers. I hope each of you hears that at the end.”
By Anuradha Weeraman profile image Anuradha Weeraman
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