The Slams

by Will Swanton

Publisher: Penguin Random House Australia

Publication Date: December 24, 2012

ISBN: 9781742757476

Binding: Kobo eBook

Availability: eBook

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Australian journalist Will Swanton has spent the last year on the trail of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic for his sixth book, The Slams**.**

Three of the greatest players in history: Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal. Three of the most famous athletes on the planet. Four tournaments: the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. The stakes are impossibly high.

Djokovic is the world No.1. A survivor of The Blitz in war-torn Serbia has done the impossible by pushing Federer and Nadal from the peak. Now he must stay there. "I believe," he says. "I just believe that I can win." Serbia's president describes Djokovic as the most prominent Serb on Earth. TIME magazine lists him above US president Barak Obama in its Top 100 Most Influential People In The World. He hurtles towards sporting immortality as the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four slams consecutively - until one telephone call and family tragedy makes his world cave in.

Federer is the most revered and successful player of all time but Djokovic and Nadal are trashing his legacy. Ten years since the death of his most important coach, two barren years since he last won a slam, Federer dusts himself off for what could be the last serious charge of his career. Legends of the game accuse him of lacking the courage to repel the fearless younger brigade. "Many experts think they know everything," he says. "Sometimes they are right - but they can also be wrong." One more slam is required to confirm his status as the finest player to ever draw breath.

Nadal wrestles unfathomable insecurities and career-threatening injuries to cram in as many slams as possible in case his body breaks down and he is forced into the premature retirement he dreads. His mantra is simple: "Enjoy the pain." Lurking in the background is Andy Murray, a survivor of the Dunblane Massacre ...