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Featured Publisher: John Blake
Apart form its current publications, John Blake Publishing has a sizeable back list of acclaimed sporting titles. These include biographies of stars such as Roger Federer, WG Grace, Fernando Torres and Frankie Dettori. For more information, visit www.blake.co.uk



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Rafa: My Story by Rafa Nadal & John Carlin

Release date: 25th August, 2011
Publisher: Sphere

List Price: £17.99
Our Price: £9.89
You Save: £8.1 (45%)
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It seems incredible that less than a decade ago Rafael Nadal claimed his first ATP victory at the age of just 15; he secured his first Grand Slam title (the French Open) aged 19. In the intervening years, the man from Majorca has been a permanent fixture on the men's tennis circuit, becoming world number one in 2008.

Born and brought up in the small Majorcan town of Manacor, surrounded by a family of successful sportsmen, Nadal first started playing tennis when he was three. His life has been completely dominated by tennis and, not surprisingly, the game has moulded his character. Here is a supremely athletic, determined young man who, if he can avoid injury, could become the greatest player of all time.

Much is known of his on-court achievements, but this fascinating biography (written in conjunction with the Spaniard by the award-winning John Carlin) comes into its own when presenting the reader with a finely-illustrated, well-observed backdrop to Nadal's life.

Carlin has been given unfettered access to Nadal's hinterland, a feature which adds hitherto unchartered depth to what some perceive to be a rather one-dimensional character. It also highlights the extent to which Nadal has been supported by his family from the time he first picked up a tennis racquet.

In our increasingly suspicious world, some consider the influence of Nadal's uncle Tony on his career to border on the sinister, though nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the family unit is still an integral part of Spanish life and no-one bats an eyelid when family members help each other. It's a refreshing throwback to an earlier age, one now sadly passed in Britain.

No matter. Armed with an amazing natural ability and nurtured by a supportive family, Rafa Nadal has made it to the very top of his profession in double-quick time. If only he stops biting all of those trophies he accumulates, he's likely to stay there for some time to come.


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