Opinion on the Dominick Bliss book on Nadal (long with few spoilers)

AgassiSuperSlam11

Professional
I had the Dominick Bliss book on Nadal for some time and just finished it. Didn't see any prior threads using the search forum tool and feel safe it's not a duplicate thread. There were previous books on Nadal and most notable was an Autobiography about a decade ago (never read it or other books on Nadal). As any biography the loyalty of the author is to the reader and not the subject which he or she is writing about. Another translation is simply that the Author needs to cover the subject without any trepidation of being critical and void of any "fanboy" offering. Overall, I think the Author does a decent job, but this is not a comprehensive analysis of Nadal's career. There are 10 monumental matches discussed in depth from 2003 to the 2022 AO Final. The author interviewed Nadal several times and has a positive relationship with the subject.

Nadal is portrayed as fearless warrior on the court who won a National Juniors title with a broken finger through several matches. In fact, during the trophy ceremony Nadal needed the assistance of another player to carry the Trophy. A strict Uncle Toni would often belittle the young Nadal by cutting short celebration parties and throwing him back to the court to practice. In fact, after winning the under-12 Junior Championship Toni would tell him, "Congratulations now you just have a 20% chance since only one fifth of the previous junior champions did anything of substance in the professional level." Jofre Portal would also play a role in the training and developing of the young Nadal. Nadal would miss both the 2004 FO and Olympics due to a stress fracture. The Author doesn't go in too much detail about all the injuries but does have a very elaborate skeletal diagram depicting the year of all the injuries.

The book details how Nadal in early youth developed many Football skills (soccer in US) which translated to good footwork and lateral movement that helped his tennis career. In fact, he won the Balearic Island Championship with his local Manacor Football Club. It's safe to say like Hakeem Olajuwan the sport of Football translated to better footwork for a different sport.

Despite having the fearless warrior mentality on the court, the author discusses the history of Nadal's rituals, fears, and Phobias of his family being hurt or injured. This includes fear of thunderstorms, driving fast, animals, and fear of the dark. The author takes Nadal's word that this is not OCD or Superstitions just rituals to keep the mind at ease? For some it still sounds like OCD. Moreover, the author seems to talk about other player rituals including Serena blaming a FO loss on failing to bounce the ball 5 times and not bringing her shower sandals to the court.

The Author discusses Nadal owning property in Dominican Republic and how he has a "Grande" yacht but no discussion about the lack of indoors success. We also know his car collection includes Aston Martin DBS, Ferrari 458 Italia, Mercedes SL 55 AMG Convertible, and Mercedes AMG GT S. In addition, he gets a new Kia Electric car every year due to his sponsorship. I think a chapter on his biggest rivals as Federer, Djokovic, Murray, and Delpo would've been more interesting.

I'll give the Author kudos for briefly discussing the PED allegations and the infamous settled lawsuit with Roselyne Bachelot the French Minister of Health and Sport who claimed Nadal was doping was sued and Nadal got 12,000 euros which he donated to charity. Bachelot claimed that Nadal missed 9 months due to serving a PED suspension in silence. Nadal was tested 12 times in 2020 (4 times in Competition and 8 times out of competition). In addition, he was tested 29 times in 2019 and 20 times in 2018.

There is also a technical breakdown on Nadal's grip, racquet technology, and the stringing of his Babolat RPM Blast octagonal which is sheathed in silicon. He discusses Nadal's string materials, gauge pattern and tension, which includes adding weight to alter the balance and speed of shot and altering the handle and grip. The discussion is aimed at how Nadal executes his great forehand with topspin by using a Semi Western Grip combined with the massive lasso whip to generate the high RPM Topspin (4900 RPM being his record). Moreover, he discusses how "grunting disguises sound and players aren't able to easily gauge the speed and depth of the Nadal shot coming back." He wasn't overtly critical "Rafans."

The author kind of takes the "southpaw" narrative in boxing that since many orthodox (right-handed) players rarely practice and play left-handed they are in a disadvantage since the left-handed has seen more orthodox players than vice versa. Moreover, the usual Lefty rotating serve wide to the advantage side exploits the BH as Nadal did to Fed for years (until the bigger racquet shifted that dominance).

Essentially, this is a decent coffee table book with some decent facts and stats but not a comprehensive biography of the subject. Would've liked a discussion about the indoor title issues, his biggest rivals, and the larger context of Spanish Tennis History (M. Santana, Gimeno, Orantes). If you write about someone like Pacquaio you'll mention people as Pancho Villa and Flash Elorde as well. I'll give credit for using the title "King of the Court" instead of "King of Clay." Although there is a ton of stats and graphs, I wonder why Nadal's Bo5 Finals record, overall winning percentage, and the listing of all his ATP titles not included? Although the GOAT debate is subjective; I think a strong argument can be made that Nadal is the greatest "Outdoor" player of the Open Era. Moreover, yes, he is in the GOAT debate along with Laver and Djokovic. Honorable mention to Gonzales, Federer, Tilden, Borg, and Sampras. Finally, I wonder did the publisher pay a license fee for all those pics or did the publisher use the "fair use doctrine?" I once paid the Associated Press over $2000 (dozen pics) for a 10-year license fee with a "discounted educational rate." I give the book 7 out of 10. Move thread to "odds and ends" if this is a duplicate thread.
 

beltsman

G.O.A.T.
I had the Dominick Bliss book on Nadal for some time and just finished it. Didn't see any prior threads using the search forum tool and feel safe it's not a duplicate thread. There were previous books on Nadal and most notable was an Autobiography about a decade ago (never read it or other books on Nadal). As any biography the loyalty of the author is to the reader and not the subject which he or she is writing about. Another translation is simply that the Author needs to cover the subject without any trepidation of being critical and void of any "fanboy" offering. Overall, I think the Author does a decent job, but this is not a comprehensive analysis of Nadal's career. There are 10 monumental matches discussed in depth from 2003 to the 2022 AO Final. The author interviewed Nadal several times and has a positive relationship with the subject.

Nadal is portrayed as fearless warrior on the court who won a National Juniors title with a broken finger through several matches. In fact, during the trophy ceremony Nadal needed the assistance of another player to carry the Trophy. A strict Uncle Toni would often belittle the young Nadal by cutting short celebration parties and throwing him back to the court to practice. In fact, after winning the under-12 Junior Championship Toni would tell him, "Congratulations now you just have a 20% chance since only one fifth of the previous junior champions did anything of substance in the professional level." Jofre Portal would also play a role in the training and developing of the young Nadal. Nadal would miss both the 2004 FO and Olympics due to a stress fracture. The Author doesn't go in too much detail about all the injuries but does have a very elaborate skeletal diagram depicting the year of all the injuries.

The book details how Nadal in early youth developed many Football skills (soccer in US) which translated to good footwork and lateral movement that helped his tennis career. In fact, he won the Balearic Island Championship with his local Manacor Football Club. It's safe to say like Hakeem Olajuwan the sport of Football translated to better footwork for a different sport.

Despite having the fearless warrior mentality on the court, the author discusses the history of Nadal's rituals, fears, and Phobias of his family being hurt or injured. This includes fear of thunderstorms, driving fast, animals, and fear of the dark. The author takes Nadal's word that this is not OCD or Superstitions just rituals to keep the mind at ease? For some it still sounds like OCD. Moreover, the author seems to talk about other player rituals including Serena blaming a FO loss on failing to bounce the ball 5 times and not bringing her shower sandals to the court.

The Author discusses Nadal owning property in Dominican Republic and how he has a "Grande" yacht but no discussion about the lack of indoors success. We also know his car collection includes Aston Martin DBS, Ferrari 458 Italia, Mercedes SL 55 AMG Convertible, and Mercedes AMG GT S. In addition, he gets a new Kia Electric car every year due to his sponsorship. I think a chapter on his biggest rivals as Federer, Djokovic, Murray, and Delpo would've been more interesting.

I'll give the Author kudos for briefly discussing the PED allegations and the infamous settled lawsuit with Roselyne Bachelot the French Minister of Health and Sport who claimed Nadal was doping was sued and Nadal got 12,000 euros which he donated to charity. Bachelot claimed that Nadal missed 9 months due to serving a PED suspension in silence. Nadal was tested 12 times in 2020 (4 times in Competition and 8 times out of competition). In addition, he was tested 29 times in 2019 and 20 times in 2018.

There is also a technical breakdown on Nadal's grip, racquet technology, and the stringing of his Babolat RPM Blast octagonal which is sheathed in silicon. He discusses Nadal's string materials, gauge pattern and tension, which includes adding weight to alter the balance and speed of shot and altering the handle and grip. The discussion is aimed at how Nadal executes his great forehand with topspin by using a Semi Western Grip combined with the massive lasso whip to generate the high RPM Topspin (4900 RPM being his record). Moreover, he discusses how "grunting disguises sound and players aren't able to easily gauge the speed and depth of the Nadal shot coming back." He wasn't overtly critical "Rafans."

The author kind of takes the "southpaw" narrative in boxing that since many orthodox (right-handed) players rarely practice and play left-handed they are in a disadvantage since the left-handed has seen more orthodox players than vice versa. Moreover, the usual Lefty rotating serve wide to the advantage side exploits the BH as Nadal did to Fed for years (until the bigger racquet shifted that dominance).

Essentially, this is a decent coffee table book with some decent facts and stats but not a comprehensive biography of the subject. Would've liked a discussion about the indoor title issues, his biggest rivals, and the larger context of Spanish Tennis History (M. Santana, Gimeno, Orantes). If you write about someone like Pacquaio you'll mention people as Pancho Villa and Flash Elorde as well. I'll give credit for using the title "King of the Court" instead of "King of Clay." Although there is a ton of stats and graphs, I wonder why Nadal's Bo5 Finals record, overall winning percentage, and the listing of all his ATP titles not included? Although the GOAT debate is subjective; I think a strong argument can be made that Nadal is the greatest "Outdoor" player of the Open Era. Moreover, yes, he is in the GOAT debate along with Laver and Djokovic. Honorable mention to Gonzales, Federer, Tilden, Borg, and Sampras. Finally, I wonder did the publisher pay a license fee for all those pics or did the publisher use the "fair use doctrine?" I once paid the Associated Press over $2000 (dozen pics) for a 10-year license fee with a "discounted educational rate." I give the book 7 out of 10. Move thread to "odds and ends" if this is a duplicate thread.

Thank you for taking the time to write and post your review
 

octobrina10

Talk Tennis Guru
I had the Dominick Bliss book on Nadal for some time and just finished it. Didn't see any prior threads using the search forum tool and feel safe it's not a duplicate thread. There were previous books on Nadal and most notable was an Autobiography about a decade ago (never read it or other books on Nadal). As any biography the loyalty of the author is to the reader and not the subject which he or she is writing about. Another translation is simply that the Author needs to cover the subject without any trepidation of being critical and void of any "fanboy" offering. Overall, I think the Author does a decent job, but this is not a comprehensive analysis of Nadal's career. There are 10 monumental matches discussed in depth from 2003 to the 2022 AO Final. The author interviewed Nadal several times and has a positive relationship with the subject.

Nadal is portrayed as fearless warrior on the court who won a National Juniors title with a broken finger through several matches. In fact, during the trophy ceremony Nadal needed the assistance of another player to carry the Trophy. A strict Uncle Toni would often belittle the young Nadal by cutting short celebration parties and throwing him back to the court to practice. In fact, after winning the under-12 Junior Championship Toni would tell him, "Congratulations now you just have a 20% chance since only one fifth of the previous junior champions did anything of substance in the professional level." Jofre Portal would also play a role in the training and developing of the young Nadal. Nadal would miss both the 2004 FO and Olympics due to a stress fracture. The Author doesn't go in too much detail about all the injuries but does have a very elaborate skeletal diagram depicting the year of all the injuries.

The book details how Nadal in early youth developed many Football skills (soccer in US) which translated to good footwork and lateral movement that helped his tennis career. In fact, he won the Balearic Island Championship with his local Manacor Football Club. It's safe to say like Hakeem Olajuwan the sport of Football translated to better footwork for a different sport.

Despite having the fearless warrior mentality on the court, the author discusses the history of Nadal's rituals, fears, and Phobias of his family being hurt or injured. This includes fear of thunderstorms, driving fast, animals, and fear of the dark. The author takes Nadal's word that this is not OCD or Superstitions just rituals to keep the mind at ease? For some it still sounds like OCD. Moreover, the author seems to talk about other player rituals including Serena blaming a FO loss on failing to bounce the ball 5 times and not bringing her shower sandals to the court.

The Author discusses Nadal owning property in Dominican Republic and how he has a "Grande" yacht but no discussion about the lack of indoors success. We also know his car collection includes Aston Martin DBS, Ferrari 458 Italia, Mercedes SL 55 AMG Convertible, and Mercedes AMG GT S. In addition, he gets a new Kia Electric car every year due to his sponsorship. I think a chapter on his biggest rivals as Federer, Djokovic, Murray, and Delpo would've been more interesting.

I'll give the Author kudos for briefly discussing the PED allegations and the infamous settled lawsuit with Roselyne Bachelot the French Minister of Health and Sport who claimed Nadal was doping was sued and Nadal got 12,000 euros which he donated to charity. Bachelot claimed that Nadal missed 9 months due to serving a PED suspension in silence. Nadal was tested 12 times in 2020 (4 times in Competition and 8 times out of competition). In addition, he was tested 29 times in 2019 and 20 times in 2018.

There is also a technical breakdown on Nadal's grip, racquet technology, and the stringing of his Babolat RPM Blast octagonal which is sheathed in silicon. He discusses Nadal's string materials, gauge pattern and tension, which includes adding weight to alter the balance and speed of shot and altering the handle and grip. The discussion is aimed at how Nadal executes his great forehand with topspin by using a Semi Western Grip combined with the massive lasso whip to generate the high RPM Topspin (4900 RPM being his record). Moreover, he discusses how "grunting disguises sound and players aren't able to easily gauge the speed and depth of the Nadal shot coming back." He wasn't overtly critical "Rafans."

The author kind of takes the "southpaw" narrative in boxing that since many orthodox (right-handed) players rarely practice and play left-handed they are in a disadvantage since the left-handed has seen more orthodox players than vice versa. Moreover, the usual Lefty rotating serve wide to the advantage side exploits the BH as Nadal did to Fed for years (until the bigger racquet shifted that dominance).

Essentially, this is a decent coffee table book with some decent facts and stats but not a comprehensive biography of the subject. Would've liked a discussion about the indoor title issues, his biggest rivals, and the larger context of Spanish Tennis History (M. Santana, Gimeno, Orantes). If you write about someone like Pacquaio you'll mention people as Pancho Villa and Flash Elorde as well. I'll give credit for using the title "King of the Court" instead of "King of Clay." Although there is a ton of stats and graphs, I wonder why Nadal's Bo5 Finals record, overall winning percentage, and the listing of all his ATP titles not included? Although the GOAT debate is subjective; I think a strong argument can be made that Nadal is the greatest "Outdoor" player of the Open Era. Moreover, yes, he is in the GOAT debate along with Laver and Djokovic. Honorable mention to Gonzales, Federer, Tilden, Borg, and Sampras. Finally, I wonder did the publisher pay a license fee for all those pics or did the publisher use the "fair use doctrine?" I once paid the Associated Press over $2000 (dozen pics) for a 10-year license fee with a "discounted educational rate." I give the book 7 out of 10. Move thread to "odds and ends" if this is a duplicate thread.
The author of this book has taken many things from Rafa's autobiography titled "Rafa: My Story", published in English in 2011.
 
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