I love watching the tennis at Wimbledon. Nadal went crashing out in the first week of the tournament this year. He has lost his confidence and has been struggling to regain his form after injury.
But it still inspired me to read his ‘autobiography’, although how much is autobiography is open to conjecture; the text confirms that Nadal had trouble completing a formal education, yet this book has a sophisticated structure which would lead us to believe that he concentrated on Languages rather than Sport.
Each chapter has a dual narrative: one in the great player’s own words; the other in the words of an observer. This could make us think that the 1st person is voiced directly by Rafa, as the other is by John Carlin, the additional name on the sleeve. But I think not.
As well as this, there is the step by step dissection of the 2010 Wimbledon final and then the subsequent great matches, bookending each chapter.
I wish it had not tried so hard to be ‘clever’. A straight account by Carlin of Nadal’s struggles and successes would have been so much better. However, as lightweight as this is - I read it in an afternoon - it is still provides an enjoyable few hours of immersion in the greatest of sports, as told from the point of view of one of its greatest players.