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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.


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.

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