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Rafa Hardcover – August 23, 2011

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Frequently Bought Together

Rafa + Open: An Autobiography + Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis--Lessons from a Master
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion (August 23, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401324517
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401324513
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (227 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #282,652 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Rafa: My Story is a terrific sporting memoir, full of memorable anecdotes and stamped with the authority of a ghostwriter who earned the complete trust of his subject. It is hard to imagine how Nadal could have done any more to get the best out of his own raw material. And it is to Carlin's enourmous credit that the book is a true reflection of the man, in every sense -- Ed Smith New Statesman Between them they have served up a winner -- Simon Redfern Independent Take a glimpse behind the curtain of both his private and professional life - it's as exciting as Rafa himself Woman's Own --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

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.

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Customer Reviews

Wonderful book and it perfectly matches its subject matter.
Nour El Hoda Saad
I chose to read this book because I am an avid tennis player and I have always been a great fan of Rafael Nadal.
T. Stewart
Great to see how someone can overcome physical setbacks to achieve greatness in the sporting world.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

96 of 103 people found the following review helpful By Exegesis on August 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First the disclaimer: I'm a sold out Rafa Nadal fan. I appreciate everything about his game but, even more what is seen as him the person. In an age of Egos larger than life in professional sports, and lifestyles that overstep the limits of decency, Rafa could not be more different. This book not only outlines this as fact, but reinforces what many would take for granted these days; there are few things more priceless than a strong family.

In terms of reading this from a tennis player's perspective, this is not a book about technique. However, Rafa's first-person account of what he was saying to himself, what his mental success and failure points were, is in my perspective, in the same league with, if not of more practical use, than The Inner Game of Tennis, Winning Ugly by Brad Gilbert, or any other book that addresses the mental approach to tennis. There is a tremendous amount to learn from his approach.

Second disclaimer: The book has only been out for 24 hours and I'm only 2/3 of the way through it. Specifically, the book is just starting to discuss the 2010 US Open. But, I can't put it down (Well, in fact I have to. I have to go to work). I'm willing to bet that, if you read about tennis, play tennis, or in any way are interested in Rafa, you'll have the same experience I'm having reading this book.

One last perspective. If there's aver a second book written By Rafa and his team, I hope it's about how he transitions from Tennis to whatever is next in his life. That could be a sequel even more interesting to read.
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Format: Hardcover
I was eagerly awaiting Rafa's autobiography and pre-ordered it months ago, it was well worth the wait. I really enjoyed it and I read it in one weekend as I couldn't put it down, it's a real page turner!

It gives a real insight into what makes Rafa tick, it's very honest, inspiring and really interesting; I've been a fan of Rafa's for 6 years and I admire him even more after reading this book.

The book is really well written and each chapter has 2 sections, the 1st written by Rafa and the 2nd by John Carlin with more info and insights. I especially like the way he describes Rafa as "Clark Kent and Superman" and reveals that Rafa has fears and insecurites (as most of us do & can relate to) but the way he conquers them and has achieved all he has is a real inspiration. I also love the inclusion of Rafa's family giving more inights about his personality.

There are 16 pages of colour photos in it ranging from when Rafa was a child to his US Open win last year.

A great book, Rafa fans will love it.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Vikram Pyati on September 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
RAFA is a remarkable book which gives amazing insights into the mind of a tennis legend. The way he prepares before a game, his mental state during a game, his methods of handling the disappointments and the successes of the tennis court - all of this makes RAFA a fascinating read.

The book has a unique format in which the first person account by Nadal is interspersed with chapters by John Carlin. The chapters by Nadal mainly talk about some of the important matches of his fledging tennis career, starting with THE MATCH - the Wimbledon 2008 final; his surprisingly strong family ties and its impact on his game; his domineering uncle and coach for 20 years - Toni and of course, his never say die spirit which is visible in most of his matches, among other things.

As the chapters go on, the book slowly uncovers the duality of Rafael Nadal - the one on the tennis court and the other off it. The one on the court is a gladiator who fights till the end, never gives up, doesn't know what fear is and ruthlessly decimates his opposition. The one off the tennis court is a soft, insecure lad , a boy next door, who is scared of dog, who is uncomfortable driving a bicycle or a motorbike and one who is scared of flying in a helicopter ! The contrast cannot be more starker.

The importance he gives to his family and friends and in turn their impact on his game is mentioned throughout the book. After a remarkable year of 2008 when he won both French Open and Wimbledon and became No.1 for the first time, 2009 was a big let down, when he was dogged by injuries, when he lost in French Open for the first time and eventually lost the No.1 ranking. As he writes, this dip in his career was as much due to the separation of his parents as due to external factors like injuries and loss of form.
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36 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Gloria on August 25, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am enjoying the Rafa memoir. Initially, I wondered how a memoir could be written so early in this young man's life, and not be "fluff" for over 270 pages. I quickly learned that not only is there no fluff, it sucked me in as a reader.

The format is almost like "Forrest Gump" in print. It starts with Rafa prepping for his 2008 Wimbledon match against Roger Federer, the slam he's always wanted to win. Rafa writes somewhat of a diary/journal entry of his thought as he gets ready for the match. And as he goes through these motions, he has "flashbacks" of times earlier in life that has gotten him to where he's at: lessons he's learned, the family's who's been a solid foundation of support, and the human side of of who Rafa's become of these things. The flashbacks come back to the present match and integrates itself whole.

Once a short entry of that match is read, John Carlin interjects with words and mini vignettes/interviews from family and friends who fill the "gaps" of the thought processes of how Rafa thinks and what he's become.

The story then heads back to that Wimbledon match and Rafa writes more. The cycle continues.

I bought this book right as I was about to go to sleep and ended up reading nearly 20% of the book and took it to work to read during my lunch. I could not put it down, but had to because the eyes were drooping. At this rate, the book will not make it to the weekend. Rafa draws me in and paints a story of an every day man who happens to do something extraordinary professionally. Nadal speaks with desires of a simple life and yet, with a profound sense of thought of in how to approach it. Tennis is the backddrop of this story, but many life lessons are learned as well as we watch someone grow into their own.
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