Win a copy of RAFA!

RAFA, the book, that is. Thanks to some nice promotion people, I have three copies of Rafa’s new biography to give away. Since they also gave me a preview copy to read and review, I’m going to throw in the one I ordered from Amazon as well.

How to Participate

1. Put on your thinking caps and think of a chapter title you’d like to see in the book, such as “Ode to my Famooos Ass”. Your title could be funny or serious, tennis related or not. I just ask that we stay PG-13. (Yes, I’m giving a few of you the eyebrow of warning.) I’ll get help picking the best 10 entries and then everyone will vote for their favorites.

2. Fill out the form below with your name, email address and title by midnight, August 19th US Eastern time (GMT -5).

3. On the 20th, I’ll put up the poll for everyone to vote. You’ll have until midnight, August 22nd US Eastern time (GMT -5) to vote.

4. I’ll announce the four winners on the 23rd.

The Entry Form

Entry form removed as the contest is closed

Fine Print

If two entries are deemed to be similar enough to be the same, the first one submitted will count.

Only enter once. I’ll toss any extra entries.

I’ve disabled comments on this so there’s less risk of someone putting their entry in the comment field.

About the Book

By Rafael Nadal and John Carlin

What does it take to be one of the greatest tennis players in the world? What goes on inside an athlete’s head during championship point? Are champions born or made?

A gladiator on court, Rafael Nadal is widely known to be an intensely competitive, ambitious tennis player. Off court, he is an immensely private person. A natural athlete, he was exposed to sports at a young age (his uncle, Miguel Ángel, played professional soccer), played competitive tennis and participated in an organized soccer league. But it wasn’t until he was 13 that he knew tennis was in his future.

In his first-ever memoir, RAFA (Hyperion Books; August 23, 2011; $27.99 hardcover), written with award-winning journalist John Carlin, Nadal reveals the secrets of his game and shares the inspiring personal story behind his success. The book covers Nadal’s childhood, growth as a player, and his remarkable career. It includes the highs, such as winning the Wimbledon 2008 final in what John McEnroe called “the greatest game of tennis ever played,” to the lows, when in 2009 knee injuries and family troubles caused Nadal to exit the French Open early and miss Wimbledon altogether. The book details the 2010 US Open, where Nadal’s rivalry with Novak Djokovic was born. It was also the tournament in which Nadal completed a career Grand Slam; he is one of only seven men to do so.

Nadal has made it through tough times thanks to his incredible team, chiefly his family, who are endlessly supportive. There’s his uncle and coach, Toni Nadal, a former tennis pro who subjected Nadal to a Spartan regime from early childhood to make him into a tennis warrior. Nadal’s father, Sebastían, and mother, Ana María, keep him grounded and have instilled strong values (discipline, respect for others, and good sportsmanship) that is evident in Nadal’s graciousness in victory and defeat. Nadal writes, “I build a wall around myself when I play, but my family is the cement that holds the wall together.”

Other sections in the book include:

  • A rare look into Nadal’s thought process while competing mentally and physically at the highest level;
  • His vital but sometimes tense relationship with his uncle Toni;
  • The chronic injury, which made him fear for his career after winning his first Grand Slam, and how he has battled through pain to conquer the tennis world;
  • Minute by minute chronology of what was going through his mind during the two biggest games of his life;
  • The effect his parents’ separation had on his tennis game;
  • The intense regimen he endures to prepare for a match; and
  • His fierce rivalries against Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

While this memoir charts Nadal’s trajectory from the day he was born to his achievements as a tennis champion, it is clear that his family, his team, and the Mallorcan community are his source of power and success. With candor, heart, and raw insight, Nadal takes readers on his life’s dramatic and triumphant journey. He writes in the book, “you get as much out of your game as you put into it.”

Follow Rafael Nadal on Facebook at


Rafael Nadal began playing tennis at age four with his uncle Toni, who is his long-time coach. He has won a total of 10 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 Senior International writer for El País, the world’s leading Spanish-language newspaper, and has written for the New York Times, Time, Wired, New Republic, and the Wall Street Journal. He also wrote the book that became the feature film Invictus.

By Rafael Nadal and John Carlin
Published by Hyperion
Publication date: August 23, 2011
Hardcover: $27.99 • Page count: 272
ISBN: 978-1-4013-2451-3
Also available as a Hyperion eBook