Cover Image: The Master

The Master

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Member Reviews

Well researched book focusing on the Federer most don’t know.
Much too much trivial detail makes the book somewhat tedious
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The debate always in my family was Rodger Federer vs. Rafa Nadal. For me? I always chose Rafa. However; now my opinion may have changed. 

Christopher Clarey's insightful The Master takes tennis fans into the life of Roger Fed. Learning new facts and interesting stories about the tennis great, readers will come away with a greater appreciation.
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I've read every biography of Federer , even Rene Stauffer's recent one in German.. I've been a Federer fan since round 3 of the US Open 2001. I know my Federer. Clarey, however, knows him even better. This isn't a rehash of all the popular Federer legends and anecdotes with a few recent quotes to pad it. Clarey has a readable style that gives the reader the feeling of being an insider. Clarey has had exclusive interviews with Federer over the years, and he has been meticulous in his research and getting first-hand accounts of the stages of Federer's career from those who were there. The narrative is somewhat non-linear, but it works. It is essential reading for any tennis fan.
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The Master is an engaging and thrilling biography about one of the best tennis players to ever play the game. Christopher Clarey is both concise and intriguing with his balance of facts/stats and intimate conversations with Roger Federer.

I am a huge tennis fan and one of the most exciting players for me to watch is Roger Federer. This biography allows tennis fans like myself to get to know more about Roger's journey to becoming one of the greats.

Christopher Clarey starts at the beginning with Roger's childhood. I learned that Roger almost pursued another sport, but fate had something else planned for him. The author uses interviews with Roger along with interviews with those closest to him to pen a wonderful and elegant story about mastering a sport and life.

Roger Federer's game is so fascinating because it always seems so effortless and Christopher handles this topic throughout the book. Some people and even players mention how his 'effortless' play could have been taken two ways. If he won, some would say that he is magnificent in his craft while others would claim Roger is lazy if he were to lose. I think this duality is an honest assumption that I too have thought a few times when I first started to follow his career. But the beauty of this book is that it helps you understand that this cool and calm personality of his takes training and hard work.

One of his childhood friends put it perfectly when he said this about Roger;
"He always looks so smooth, so relaxed, but he knows how to suffer, to go through the pain, and not show it. "


Not only do readers get an inside look at Roger's journey and life, but also get to see him as a husband, father, and entrepreneur. He is one of the top athletes and is also one of the highest-paid athletes too. That is not all due to his prize money from tournaments and Grand Slams. He is humble but also strives to be known for his business and philanthropy. He is a motivated person but this book highlights the influence his wife, Mirka has had and continues to have in his life both personally and professionally.

I give The Master 5 stars. It is a perfect read for tennis fans. It is nostalgic and made me excited while I read the book because I remember so many of the moments whether it was the long matches and rivalry with Nadal or his emotional postgame interviews. Roger is a master of tennis and his career and proved that you don't have to look or act a certain way on the court to get the job done. He has found his own recipe for success and longevity and that is astounding. Wonderful writing from one of the great tennis writers/ global sports columnists. He wrote this book just as Federer plays with grace, elegance, and control!
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