Sphere believes it has a smashing winner with the acquisition of the autobiography of Rafael Nadal, the Spanish tennis ace and current world number one.
Non-fiction publishing director Adam Strange bought UK and Commonwealth rights to Rafa: My Story from LJK Literary, Anne Edelstein at Anne Edelstein Literary Agency and Luis Vinuales at Luppa Solutions, following an auction.
Strange said: "It's a real treat to have this book as I've been a fan of Rafa's for some time. The world number one is a ferocious competitor on court and yet manages to display a grace and humility off it that is completely charming, and quite unusual in today's sporting world. His list of achievements and records is extraordinary."
The memoir will focus on 24-year-old Nadal's on-court battles and victories, including his epic Wimbledon final win against Roger Federer in 2008, and his haul of wins that led to his career Grand Slam. The book will also reveal the story behind his achievements.
Strange added: "Along with the rest of his millions of fans worldwide, I'm very much looking forward to finding out what makes him tick. Rafa is an intensely private person and until now he's not talked openly about his personal and family life."
The so-called "king of clay" penned the book with journalist and author John Carlin, and Sphere plans to publish in hardback this summer. "I don't think any player since Agassi has really captured the tennis world in the way Rafa has, so we have really high hopes for the book," said Strange.