Author: Christopher Clarey
Publisher: John Murray/Hachette Australian, 2021; RRP: $32.99
Christopher Clarey is a well-known international sports writer for The New York Times, having covered global sports for the Times and International Herald Tribune for more than 25 years. He is one of the world’s leading authorities on tennis, reporting on 90 grand slams and interviewing many of the major tennis stars. Clarey has followed Roger Federer since the beginning of his tennis career, and has had wide access to Federer’s inner circle.
In The Master, Christopher Clarey tells of the rise of Federer as a young tennis player through to the champion the world knows today. He delves into the style and persona Federer developed over the years, and gives an insight into the player he has become. Of significant importance has been the team Federer based around him: the fitness trainer, the coach and the psychologist. Their contribution to the success of Federer is woven throughout the book.
Having spent years interviewing him, and being in his company on and off the tennis court, Clarey writes of the growth of Federer on a personal level. He looks at the man behind the image, describing how Federer dealt with ups and downs and losses and wins of his career.
Threaded throughout the book are interviews with other great tennis players, particularly those who have challenged and beaten Federer over the years. Amongst those are Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Roddick. They speak of friendship and respect as well as the influence that Federer has had on the development of their own game. His early meeting with Mirka Vavrinec, who later became his wife, was a pivotal moment in his life. Her support and belief, and her involvement in Federer’s career, gave him the solid foundation to become the best tennis player he could be.
For fans of Roger Federer, and the world of tennis competition, this book is a fascinating read. It gives great insight into Federer as a tennis player, the man who transitioned from a difficult teenager to one of the greatest tennis players in the world. It is well written and engaging. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Reviewed by: Linda Young
Ballarat Writers Inc. Book Review Group
Review copy supplied by the publisher