Rafa by Rafael Nadal


6 Critic Reviews

...the book is a true reflection of the man, in every sense.
-New Statesman


What makes a champion? What does it take to be the best in the world at your sport?

Rafael Nadal has the answers. In his memoir, written with award-winning journalist John Carlin, he reveals the secrets of his game and shares the inspiring personal story behind his success.

It begins in Mallorca, where the tight-knit Nadal family has lived for generations. Coached by his uncle Toni from the age of four and taught humility and respect by his parents, Nadal has managed the uncommon feat of becoming an acclaimed global celebrity while remaining a gracious, hardworking role model for people in all walks of life.

Now he takes us behind the scenes, from winning the Wimbledon 2008 final-described by John McEnroe as "the greatest game of tennis" he had ever seen-to the family problems that brought him low in 2009 and the numerous injuries that have threatened his career.

With candor and intelligence, Nadal brings readers on his dramatic and triumphant journey, never losing sight of the prize he values above all others: the unity and love of his family.

From RAFA:

"During a match, you are in a permanent battle to fight back your everyday vulnerabilities, bottle up your human feelings. The more bottled up they are, the greater your chances of winning, so long as you've trained as hard as you play and the gap in talent is not too wide between you and your rival. The gap in talent with Federer existed, but it was not impossibly wide. It was narrow enough, even on his favorite surface in the tournament he played best, for me to know that if I silenced the doubts and fears, and exaggerated hopes, inside my head better than he did, I could beat him. You have to cage yourself in protective armor, turn yourself into a bloodless warrior. It's a kind of self-hypnosis, a game you play, with deadly seriousness, to disguise your own weaknesses from yourself, as well as from your rival."

About Rafael Nadal

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Rafael Nadal was born in 1986 in Mallorca, Spain. Currently ranked #1 in the world, he has won 9 Grand Slam titles and a career "Golden Slam" all four majors plus a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics. He lives in Mallorca, Spain. John Carlin, originally from the UK, is currently a Senior International writer for El Pais, the world's leading Spanish-language newspaper. He wrote the book that became the feature film Invictus.
Published August 23, 2011 by Hachette Books. 319 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
Peak Rank on Sep 11 2011
Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Rafa
All: 6 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 2


Above average
on Sep 04 2011

There are gaps: Nadal says next to nothing about his long-term girlfriend...nor does he talk about his ritual tugging of his shorts before he serves (a triviality, perhaps, but one it would have been sensible to at least mention).

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on Aug 28 2011

...its a highly entertaining and well written book ... and a “must read” for any Rafa fan.

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New Statesman

on Oct 06 2011

...the book is a true reflection of the man, in every sense.

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Open Salon

on Sep 08 2011

The book is a quick glimpse of how he has reached the pinnacle of the sport that he loves.

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IBN Live

Above average
on Nov 26 2011

There is too much shifting between the Wimbledon final and Nadal’s victories in other tournaments including grand slams, which does not do justice to some of the significant matches during his journey to the top...

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Montreal Gazette

on Oct 02 2011

...the book is an oddly compelling read. It’s definitely a cut above the average quickie athlete autobiography...with several layers of subtext that were rather unexpected.

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