RAFA by Rafael Nadal


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Elite tennis star Nadal serves up a smashing account of his life on and off the court.

Tenacious. Driven. Obsessed. This is how the sports world has come to know Nadal, the Mallorcan phenom who at age 24 became the youngest man ever to complete a career Grand Slam in the Open Era. What’s revealed here, however, is a much more complex figure prone to all sorts of anxieties, and a man who simply would not be the athlete he is today if not for the constant love and support of his extended family. Mallorca, the tiny island off the coast of Spain where he was born, is home base for the Nadal clan, and the cocoon to which the globetrotting sportsman must always return to reinvigorate body and soul. And yet, the greatest antagonist in Nadal’s young life, we learn, has not been Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic or any of the other fearsome opponents he’s had to face down on the other side of the net. Rather, it has been a blunt, combative man named Toni, his beloved uncle and ever-present coach. Nadal explores the intricate interplay between the two, as well as his epic battles with the game's best, in a compelling narrative that volleys back and forth between first and third person, consistently building momentum and adding depth as well as insight. The titanic showdown between Nadal and Federer at Wimbledon in 2008, for instance, is played out shot-for-shot over several engrossing chapters. Throughout, the alternating point of view and over-the-shoulder accounts provide readers with a stunning invitation into the mind of one of the greatest tennis players ever.

A winning endeavor packed with intelligence and excitement.



Pub Date: Aug. 23rd, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4013-2451-3
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2011


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