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The Master

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Member Reviews

I was given an early copy in exchange for an honest review.  This was an insightful in depth review of the person not just the celebrity.. a man who started his life in very humble beginnings to become a man at the top of the tennis world never forgetting where he came from with a mother who had lived through Federer projects normalcy amongst the extraordinary.  Whether an interview or how he handled moving with his children around the world.  Federer  would play his first tournament on the grounds (grounds which were encircled by barbed wire.  A court which was overlooked by the prison which, ,atone time, had in-prisoned Nelson Mandela. He would begin and end his career here on this humble court.   His mother South African, father was Swiss therefore, he”was born with dual citizenshiip and lived a good part of his life in Switzerland and the United States, His dad was also working his way through the ranks in the United States Navy.Federer was able to play tennis everywhere he went, he took his racket and was able to make friends with the same interests quickly because of this.  I am not much of a tennis fan but enjoyed this book very much. He is a person who has given back to those around the world for children to have the opportunity to learn the sport.. Not a biography I would normally be interested in but decided to give it a go.I saw and thought II would give it a go.. I would recommend this book. Thanks to #NetGalley,,#ChristopherClarey, and, #TheMaster.
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The Master: The Long Run and Beautiful Game of Roger Federer by Christopher Clarey

I thankfully received The Master as an ARC from NetGalley. This book by Christopher Clarey which was released to the public on August 24, 2021, delves into the life and career of Roger Federer from a child up to his current position in the tennis realm. As someone who got into tennis about a year ago, I thought I knew the history surrounding one of, if not the most, famous tennis players of all time.

Clarey is obviously an expert and an everlasting presence within the tennis community. He was right in on the ground floor when Federer was breaking onto the scene. The way in which he writes about Federer, starting with his temperament as a child and the challenges he faced throughout his ongoing career was borderline tedious.

I enjoy history, but this book was written for people who know tennis. Clarey would constantly name-drop tennis players with no explanation. You definitely want to take the time and look up each name that he mentions, but the pace at which he names them is break-neck. 

It was extremely interesting to read about how Roger Federer developed into a star, and the insights he gives to Clarey feel genuine and special. You get a sense of who Federer is through Clarey and the exclusive interviews he gives. I appreciate the chronological order with which Clarey tells the story, but sometimes he would go back and forth between people and times to create a full picture, which can get slightly confusing. Another mystifying aspect was the constant name changes. There are about 8 different Peters in this story and Clarey changes between referring to them by last names which can be confusing.

It was most interesting to read about the intricacies of Roger and his relationship to tennis. His ease at which he can shrug off a loss, his hairpin trigger to cry after a win, his relationship to his fellow tennis star wife, and the family dynamic they’ve created (he has two sets of identical twins, who knew?). 

This book hits differently when you realize that Federer is still playing. Reading his story is amazing, you finish it thinking wow, what a great career this man has had, only to realize that its history is still in the making.
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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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