Open Andre Agassi

Keywords; open andre agassi.

It's not often that I find a book un put down able. But such is OPEN by Andre Agassi, an autobiography.

Starting with Agassi's last days in professional tennis, in agony from a spondylolysthesis, a defect at the base of his spine, on heavy medication to play his last match, the support from his wife Stephie Graf, a tennis legend in her own right, this is a superbly written book.

Not only is the content fascinating; the inner life of a star sportsman but it is written in such an absorbing style. Un-put-down-able.

Open Andre Agassi

The road to stardom is paved with hard work (of course), hard knocks and usually the support of a loved one; in his case his brother Philly. It is Philly who keeps him going in the early days, when they subside on lentils and bake potatoes...

It's Philly who's there for him when he loses his first Wimbledon in the first round, afterwards marching oblivious until he encounters a pack of vagrants in a park, giving away his awesome array of rackets and gear, vowing never to play tennis again.

Interestingly Andre chooses a quote from Vincent van Gogh in the prelude to Open Andre Agassi; "Do you know what frees one from this captivity? It's very serious deep affection. Being friends, being brothers, love..."

"There's just one problem: We have no money. We subsist on baked potatoes and lentil soup . Three times a day we bake two potatoes and heat a can of generic lentil soup. We then pour the soup over the potatoes and voilà - breakfast, lunch or dinner is served. The whole meal costs eighty-nine cents and keeps hunger at bay for about three hours."

"Open" by Andre Agassi whilst on the circuit in 1985.

Mike Agassi, Andre's father


This is an intriguing book about relationships, not least his father who drives Andre mercilessly from early childhood. He grows up to be the most famous tennis player of all time, the only one to win all four grandslams and the Olympics in one year.

A fascinating part of the book is his relationship with his father, a love-hate relationship, with a kind and loving mother in the background, picking up the pieces. Without a doubt it's Andre's father who does the initial spadework, enabling him achieve stardom, but at a heavy cost.

What comes out powerfully in OPEN Andre Agassi is his loathing of tennis, from the very depths of his soul. He says it again, and again; what is it that drives the man? Buy the book, you won't be sorry.

What is certain, if you're going to eat it three times a day, lentil protein and potatoes is a heap better healthy choice food than a hamburger and chips. No doubt if it was cheaper, Philly and Andre would have eaten at MacDonalds but fortunately for them it wasn't. Red meat three times a day is a killer. Cancer or heart attack, one or t'other would have got him. 

Healthy Choice Foods

Interestingly, Agassi reports that lentils keep hunger at bay for about three hours. That's fact. The Glycemic Index of lentils is very low; the slow release of glucose to the blood stream is just what a professional tennis player would need.
Conversely, carbohydrate in baked potatoes has a very high glycemic index, but mixed with the lentil soup, the-total-meal is very healthy.

Controversially, the Banting diet bans all legumes, including lentil soup, because of their carbohydrate. Banting is an effective way to lose weight because of little hunger, but we think the modified banting diet makes more sense and healthier since it avoids the high animal protein.

Lentil soup and potatoes

Throw in half a dozen green beans to your lentil soup, and it's healthier still; green foods have an array of B vitamins difficult to get for those who have an aversion for their greens.

Add just a couple Wimbledon strawberries and icecream, a few eggs a week for vitamin B-12, the odd mutton stew (or hamburger, if you must!), a raw carrot and a head of broccoli and you have a sustainable diet.

Oh, and a portion of salmon twice a week and a dozen olives or an avocado for the healthy fats. Those he couldn't afford in those early days.


A spondy-lo-lys-thesis is a stress fracture in the lower back; it's caused normally by a fall in early childhood. A narrow isthmus of bone, in the adult, is still made of cartilage making it a vulnerable point in the toddler. Baby cries for a few days, and all is then forgotten; until a nagging, aching low back pain begins later in life.

A disciplined, daily set of lower back exercises lasting no more than a few minutes and an acceptance that heavy lifting is not for one is the solution; oh, don't even dream of becoming a professional sportsman.

The exception proves the rule, eh!

Easy Soup Recipes

For sheer good food, a healthy soup takes a lot of beating. But don't buy it in a tin or packet - mostly the food companies ruin it with a variety of "permitted" chemicals. What is it that has brought on the epidemic of auto-immune disease like diabetes, type I, lupus, multiple sclerosis... we just don't know, but I suspect all the crap that we come into contact with, especially in our food.

And a homemade soup fits in perfectly with our philosophy of HEALTHY FOOD MADE FAST. And it tastes far, far better...

Andre Agassi was into a good thing with his lentil soup, just a pity it came out of a can. Perhaps it was one of the good ones. There are some. EASY SOUP RECIPES ...

Useful links @ Open Andre Agassi

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