Rafael Nadal: family crisis destroyed my body and soul

In the second part of our exclusive serialisation of his autobiography Rafael Nadal describes the injury and torment he suffered after the separation of his beloved parents.

From “The Telegraph” of London

Nadal / Federer at 2009 Australian Open

On the first leg of the long journey back from the 2009 Australian Open, on the flight from Melbourne to Dubai, my father told me there were problems back home between himself and my mother.

I quickly figured out he meant a separation was on the cards. The news left me stunned. I didn’t talk to my father on the rest of the trip home.

My parents were the pillar of my life and that pillar had crumbled. The continuity I so valued in my life had been cut in half, and the emotional order I depend on had been dealt a shocking blow. Our family was close and united, there had been no conflict visible, all we had ever seen was harmony and good cheer.

Assimilating the news that my parents had been going through such a crisis after nearly 30 years of marriage was heartbreaking.

My family had always been the holy, untouchable core of my life, my centre of stability and a living album of my wonderful childhood memories.

Suddenly, and utterly without warning, the happy family portrait had cracked. I suffered on behalf of my father, my mother and my sister, who were all having a terrible time.

But everybody was affected: my uncles and aunt, my grandparents, my nephews and nieces. Our whole world was destabilised, and contact between members of the family became, for the first time that I had been aware of, awkward and unnatural; no one knew at first how to react. Returning back home had always been a joy; now it became uncomfortable and strange.

Through all these years of constant travel and ever more frenzied claims on my time as my fame had grown, Manacor and our neighbouring seaside resort of Porto Cristo was a bubble of peace and sanity, a private world where I could isolate myself from the celebrity madness and be entirely myself again.

Read the rest of the book excerpt HERE

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