Patrick Rafter

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Patrick Rafter
Rafter3.jpg
Pat Rafter at a Davis Cup match in 2001
Country  Australia
Residence Pembroke, Bermuda
Born (1972-12-28) 28 December 1972 (age 41)
Mount Isa, Queensland, Australia
Height 185 cm (6 ft 1 in)[1]
Turned pro 1990
Retired 2002
Plays Right-handed (one-handed backhand)
Prize money $11,127,058
Int. Tennis HOF 2006 (member page)
Singles
Career record 358–191 (in Grand Slam and ATP Tour main draw matches, and in Davis Cup)
Career titles 11
Highest ranking No. 1 (26 July 1999)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open SF (2001)
French Open SF (1997)
Wimbledon F (2000, 2001)
US Open W (1997, 1998)
Other tournaments
Tour Finals RR (1997, 2001)
Olympic Games 2R (2000)
Doubles
Career record 214–110 (in Grand Slam and ATP Tour main draw matches, and in Davis Cup)
Career titles 10
Highest ranking No. 6 (1 February 1999)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open W (1999)
French Open 3R (1998)
Wimbledon SF (1996, 1998)
US Open SF (1996)
Team competitions
Davis Cup W (1999)

Patrick Michael "Pat" Rafter (born 28 December 1972) is an Australian former World No. 1 tennis player. He twice won the Men's Singles title at the US Open and was twice the runner-up at Wimbledon. He was known for his natural serve-and-volley style of play. He became the first man in the Open Era to win Montreal/Toronto, Cincinnati and the US Open in the same year (1998); this achievement has been dubbed the American Summer Slam.[citation needed]

Tennis career[edit]

1990s[edit]

Rafter turned professional in 1991 and won his first career singles title in 1994 in Manchester. Prior to 1997, this was the only ATP singles title he had won.

Rafter's breakthrough came in 1997. At that year's French Open he reached the semifinals, falling in four sets to Sergi Bruguera. Then he surprised many by winning the US Open, defeating Greg Rusedski in a four-set final and Andre Agassi and Michael Chang, among others, in earlier rounds; he was the first non-American to win the title since Stefan Edberg in 1992. This was his first Grand Slam title, and catapulted him ahead of Chang to finish the year ranked #2 in the world, behind only Pete Sampras. The unexpected nature of his U.S. Open title led many, including Hall-of-famer and four-time U.S. Open champion John McEnroe to criticise Rafter as a "one-slam wonder".[2]

1998 was a particularly strong year for Rafter, who won the Canadian Open and Cincinnati in a row (only Andre Agassi, in 1995, Andy Roddick, in 2003, and Rafael Nadal, in 2013 also have won both these tournaments in the same year). Rafter defeated ninth ranked Richard Krajicek in the Toronto final and second ranked Pete Sampras in the Cincinnati final. When asked about the difference between himself and Rafter following titles, stated "10 grand slams", and that a player has to come back and win a Grand Slam again in order to be considered great.[2]

Following his title at Cincinnati, Rafter won a US Open warm-up tournament in Long Island, New York. Entering the US Open as the defending champion, he reached the final again, defeating Sampras in a five-set semifinal. Rafter pointedly took issue with Sampras' refusal to show him respect in defeat: "That is what really upsets me about him", Rafter said, "and the reason why I try to piss him off as much as I can."[3]

Rafter then defended his U.S. Open title by defeating fellow Australian player Mark Philippoussis in four sets, committing only five unforced errors throughout the match. When asked about Sampras' earlier comments about having to win another Grand Slam in order to be considered great, Rafter replied: "Maybe you can ask him that question, if he thinks that now. For me, I won another Slam, and it hasn't sunk in yet. It's very, very exciting for me, especially to repeat it".[2] Altogether, Rafter won six tournaments in 1998, finishing the year #4 in the world.

At the 1999 French Open, Rafter drew future World No. 1 and 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer in the first round, making him the first ever opponent of Federer in the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament. Rafter defeated him in four sets, after losing the first set. Rafter then reached the Wimbledon semifinals for the first time in 1999, where he lost in straight sets to Agassi, the first of three consecutive years that the two met in the Wimbledon semifinals. July 1999 saw Rafter holding the world No. 1 men's singles ranking for one week, making him the shortest-reigning world No. 1 in ATP tour history. As the two-time defending US Open champion, Rafter lost in the first round of the tournament, retiring in the fifth set against Cédric Pioline after succumbing to shoulder tendinitis. Rafter's shoulder injury wound up being serious enough to necessitate surgery.[4] He won the Australian Open men's doubles title in 1999 (partnering Jonas Björkman), making him one of few players in the modern era to win both a singles and doubles Grand Slam title during their career (fellow countryman Lleyton Hewitt would later achieve this feat in 2001). He and Björkman also won doubles titles at the ATP Masters Series events in Canada (1999) and Indian Wells (1998).

2000s[edit]

His ranking had fallen to No. 21 by the time he reached the Wimbledon final in July 2000. In the semifinals, Rafter defeated Agassi 7–5, 4–6, 7–5, 4–6, 6–3. The match was hailed as a classic, particularly because of their contrasting playing styles, with Agassi playing primarily from the baseline and Rafter attacking the net.[5] Rafter faced Sampras in the final, who was gunning for a record-breaking seventh Wimbledon title overall (and seven in the past eight years). While Rafter made a strong start to the match and took the first set, after the match he would claim that he had "choked" part way through the second set, and was then not able to get back into his game. Sampras won in four sets.

In 2001, Rafter reached the semifinals of the Australian Open, but despite holding a two sets to one lead and having the support of the home crowd, Rafter lost the match to Agassi in five sets.[6] Later in the year, Rafter again reached the Wimbledon final. For the third straight year, he faced Agassi in the semifinals and won in yet another five-setter, 2–6, 6–3, 3–6, 6–2, 8–6. Much like the previous year's semifinal, this match also received praise for the quality of play that the two men displayed.[7][8] In the final, he squared off against Goran Ivanišević, who had reached the Wimbledon final three times before but had slid down the rankings to World No. 125 following injury problems. In a five-set struggle that lasted just over three hours, Ivanišević prevailed.

Rafter was on the Australian Davis Cup Team that lost in the final in 2000 (to Spain) and 2001 (to France). He was unable to play in the 1999 Davis Cup final – where Australia beat France to win the cup – because of injury (though he won important matches in the earlier rounds to help the team qualify).

Rafter was on the Australian teams that won the World Team Cup in 1999 and 2001.

Rafter is one of only two tennis players, along with Sergi Bruguera, to have always won against Roger Federer, having defeated him thrice. He is also the only player who has a winning record with the 17 time Grand Slam winner on all the three main tennis surfaces: hard, clay and grass.[9]

He retired from the professional tour at the end of 2002 after winning a total of 11 singles titles and 10 doubles titles. He returns to the courts annually to play World Team Tennis for the Philadelphia Freedoms.

Rafter did return at the beginning of the 2004 season to play doubles at two tournaments only; the 2004 Australian Open and the 2004 AAPT Championships (in Adelaide). However, he lost in round one of both events, playing alongside Joshua Eagle.

On Australia Day 2008, Pat Rafter was inducted into the Australian Open Hall of Fame.

2010s[edit]

On January 12, 2014 Rafter, aged 41, announced that he would be partnering current Australian number one Lleyton Hewitt in the doubles draw of the 2014 Australian Open. The comeback, however, was short-lived as the pair went down in straight sets to Eric Butorac and Raven Klaasen in the first round.[10]

ATP Champions Tour[edit]

At the 2009 AEGON Masters Tennis, Rafter lost his opening round robin match against the 1987 Wimbledon Champion Pat Cash 2–6, 6–2, 10–6. In a much anticipated match and reply of the 2001 Wimbledon final, Rafter faced Goran Ivanišević. Rafter won the match when Ivanisevic retired while serving for the opening set, 3–5. Despite his performance, the retirement was enough to push Rafter into the final against Stefan Edberg. In what is described as a spell-binding serve-and-volley showdown,[11] Rafter won the match 6–7, 6–4, 11–9. This represented the first time that Rafter was able to defeat Edberg.

Equipment[edit]

Rafter, while professional, used Prince Sports racquet and Reebok clothes. Since the beginning of 2011, he began using Dunlop Sport racquet, continuing with Reebok clothes.

Personal life[edit]

Rafter was born in Mount Isa, Queensland, and is third-youngest in a family of nine children. He began playing tennis at the age of five with his father and three older brothers.

In April 2004, Rafter married his girlfriend Lara Feltham (with whom he had a son, Joshua) at a resort in Fiji. Their daughter, India, was born in May 2005.

Rafter donated half of the prize money from his 1997 and 1998 US Open wins to the Starlight Children's Foundation; he attempted to do so anonymously in 1997 but was unsuccessful. He has created his own charity organisation that raises funds for children's causes each year. Rafter also supports animal rights and the work of animal liberation groups such as makeitpossible.com.

He has occasionally played reserve grade Australian rules in the Sydney AFL for the North Shore Bombers.

Since his retirement, Rafter has gone on to become an underwear model for Bonds, a brand ambassador for the Mantra Group of hotels and a successful businessman.

In October 2010 he was announced as the next Davis Cup captain for Australia.

Rafter is of Irish descent.

Honours[edit]

In honour of Patrick Rafter the 5,500 seat centre court of the Queensland Tennis Centre in Brisbane, Australia was named Pat Rafter Arena.[12] In 2002, he won the Australian of the Year award.[13] This created some controversy as he had spent much of his career residing in Bermuda for tax purposes. He was elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame and inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2006.[14]

Major finals[edit]

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles (4)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
Winner 1997 US Open Hard United Kingdom Greg Rusedski 6–3, 6–2, 4–6, 7–5
Winner 1998 US Open Hard Australia Mark Philippoussis 6–3, 3–6, 6–2, 6–0
Runner-up 2000 Wimbledon Grass United States Pete Sampras 7–6(12–10), 6–7(5–7), 4–6, 2–6
Runner-up 2001 Wimbledon Grass Croatia Goran Ivanišević 3–6, 6–3, 3–6, 6–2, 7–9

Doubles (1)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents in the final Score in the final
Winner 1999 Australian Open Hard Sweden Jonas Björkman India Mahesh Bhupathi
India Leander Paes
6–3, 4–6, 6–4, 6–7(10–12), 6–4

Masters Series finals[edit]

Singles: 6 (2 titles, 4 runner-ups)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
Winner 1998 Canada (Toronto) Hard Netherlands Richard Krajicek 7–6(7–3), 6–4
Winner 1998 Cincinnati Hard United States Pete Sampras 1–6, 7–6(7–2), 6–4
Runner-up 1999 Rome Clay Brazil Gustavo Kuerten 4–6, 5–7, 6–7(6–8)
Runner-up 1999 Cincinnati Hard United States Pete Sampras 6–7(7–9), 3–6
Runner-up 2001 Canada (Montreal) Hard Romania Andrei Pavel 6–7(3–7), 6–2, 3–6
Runner-up 2001 Cincinnati Hard Brazil Gustavo Kuerten 1–6, 3–6

Career finals (43)[edit]

Singles (25)[edit]

Wins (11)[edit]

Legend
Grand Slam (2)
Tennis Masters Cup (0)
ATP Masters Series (2)
ATP Championship Series (1)
ATP Tour (6)
Titles by Surface
Hard (7)
Grass (4)
Clay (0)
Carpet (0)
No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
1. 20 June 1994 Manchester, UK Grass South Africa Wayne Ferreira 7–6(7–5), 7–6(7–4)
2. 8 September 1997 US Open, New York City, USA Hard United Kingdom Greg Rusedski 6–3, 6–2, 4–6, 7–5
3. 13 April 1998 Madras, India Hard Sweden Mikael Tillström 6–3, 6–4
4. 22 June 1998 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands Grass Czech Republic Martin Damm 7–6(7–2), 6–2
5. 10 August 1998 Toronto, Canada Hard Netherlands Richard Krajicek 7–6(7–3), 6–4
6. 17 August 1998 Cincinnati, USA Hard United States Pete Sampras 1–6, 7–6(7–2), 6–4
7. 31 August 1998 Long Island, USA Hard Spain Félix Mantilla 7–6(7–3), 6–2
8. 14 September 1998 US Open, New York City, USA Hard Australia Mark Philippoussis 6–3, 3–6, 6–2, 6–0
9. 21 June 1999 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands Grass Romania Andrei Pavel 3–6, 7–6(9–7), 6–4
10. 26 June 2000 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands Grass France Nicolas Escudé 6–1, 6–3
11. 20 August 2001 Indianapolis, USA Hard Brazil Gustavo Kuerten 4–2, retired

Runner-ups (14)[edit]

No. Date. Tournament. Surface. Opponent in the final. Score in the final.
1. 18 April 1994 Hong Kong, UK Hard United States Michael Chang 1–6, 3–6
2. 3 March 1997 Philadelphia, USA Hard (i) United States Pete Sampras 7–5, 6–7(4–7), 3–6
3. 14 April 1997 Hong Kong, UK Hard United States Michael Chang 3–6, 3–6
4. 26 May 1997 St. Poelten, Austria Clay Uruguay Marcelo Filippini 6–7(2–7), 2–6
5. 18 August 1997 New Haven, USA Hard Russia Yevgeny Kafelnikov 6–7(4–7), 4–6
6. 25 August 1997 Long Island, USA Hard Spain Carlos Moyá 4–6, 6–7(1–7)
7. 6 October 1997 Grand Slam Cup, Munich, Germany Carpet United States Pete Sampras 2–6, 4–6, 5–7
8. 17 May 1999 Rome, Italy Clay Brazil Gustavo Kuerten 4–6, 5–7, 6–7(6–8)
9. 16 August 1999 Cincinnati, USA Hard United States Pete Sampras 6–7(7–9), 3–6
10. 10 July 2000 Wimbledon, London, UK Grass United States Pete Sampras 7–6(12–10), 6–7(5–7), 4–6, 2–6
11. 13 November 2000 Lyon, France Carpet France Arnaud Clément 6–7(2–7), 6–7(5–7)
12. 9 July 2001 Wimbledon, London, UK Grass Croatia Goran Ivanišević 3–6, 6–3, 3–6, 6–2, 7–9
13. 6 August 2001 Montreal, Canada Hard Romania Andrei Pavel 6–7(3–7), 6–2, 3–6
14. 13 August 2001 Cincinnati, USA Hard Brazil Gustavo Kuerten 1–6, 3–6

Doubles (18)[edit]

Wins (10)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents in Final Score in Final
1. 23 May 1994 Bologna Open, Bologna, Italy Clay Australia John Fitzgerald Czech Republic Vojtěch Flégl
Australia Andrew Florent
6–3, 6–3
2. 9 January 1995 Australian Hardcourt Championships, Adelaide, Australia Hard United States Jim Courier Zimbabwe Byron Black
Canada Grant Connell
7–6, 6–4
3. 13 May 1996 U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships, Pinehurst, U.S. Clay Australia Pat Cash United States Ken Flach
United States David Wheaton
6–2, 6–3
4. 6 January 1997 Australian Hardcourt Championships, Adelaide, Australia Hard United States Bryan Shelton Australia Todd Woodbridge
Australia Mark Woodforde
6–4, 1–6, 6–3
5. 16 June 1997 The Stella Artois Grass Court Championships, London Grass Australia Mark Philippoussis Australia Sandon Stolle
Czech Republic Cyril Suk
6–2, 4–6, 7–5
6. 16 March 1998 Newsweek Champions Cup, Indian Wells, U.S. Hard Sweden Jonas Björkman United States Todd Martin
United States Richey Reneberg
6–4, 7–6
7. 3 August 1998 Mercedes-Benz Cup, Los Angeles Hard Australia Sandon Stolle United States Jeff Tarango
Czech Republic Daniel Vacek
6–4, 6–4
8. 1 February 1999 Australian Open, Melbourne Hard Sweden Jonas Björkman India Mahesh Bhupathi
India Leander Paes
6–3, 4–6, 6–4, 6–7(10–12), 6–4
9. 14 June 1999 Gerry Weber Open, Halle, Germany Grass Sweden Jonas Björkman Netherlands Paul Haarhuis
United States Jared Palmer
6–3, 7–5
10. 9 August 1999 du Maurier Open, Montreal, Canada Hard Sweden Jonas Björkman Zimbabwe Byron Black
South Africa Wayne Ferreira
7–6, 6–4

Runner-ups (8)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents in Final Score in Final
1. 18 April 1994 Salem Open, Hong Kong Hard Sweden Jonas Björkman United States Jim Grabb
New Zealand Brett Steven
W/O
2. 24 October 1994 Grand Prix de Tennis de Lyon, Lyon, France Carpet Czech Republic Martin Damm Switzerland Jakob Hlasek
Russia Yevgeny Kafelnikov
7–6, 6–7, 6–7
3. 16 October 1995 IPB Czech Indoor, Ostrava, Czech Republic Carpet France Guy Forget Sweden Jonas Björkman
Argentina Javier Frana
7–6, 4–6, 6–7
4. 22 April 1996 Bermuda Open, Bermuda Clay Australia Pat Cash Sweden Jan Apell
South Africa Brent Haygarth
6–3, 1–6, 3–6
5. 17 March 1997 Newsweek Champions Cup, Indian Wells, U.S. Hard Australia Mark Philippoussis The Bahamas Mark Knowles
Canada Daniel Nestor
6–7, 6–4, 5–7
6. 21 April 1997 Japan Open Tennis Championships, Tokyo Hard United States Justin Gimelstob Czech Republic Martin Damm
Czech Republic Daniel Vacek
6–2, 2–6, 6–7
7. 11 August 1997 Great American Insurance ATP Championship, Cincinnati, U.S. Hard Australia Mark Philippoussis Australia Todd Woodbridge
Australia Mark Woodforde
6–7, 6–4, 4–6
8. 18 June 2001 Gerry Weber Open, Halle, Germany Grass Belarus Max Mirnyi Canada Daniel Nestor
Australia Sandon Stolle
4–6, 7–6(7–5), 1–6

Performance timeline[edit]

Singles[edit]

Tournament 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 SR W–L
Grand Slam tournaments
Australian Open LQ LQ 1R 1R 3R 4R 2R 1R 3R 3R SF 0 / 9 15–9
French Open LQ 4R 1R 1R SF 2R 3R 2R 1R 0 / 8 12–8
Wimbledon LQ 3R 2R 1R 4R 4R 4R SF F F 0 / 9 29–9
US Open LQ 1R 3R 2R 1R W W 1R 1R 4R 2 / 9 20–7
Win–Loss 0–0 0–0 0–1 2–3 8–4 4–4 4–4 15–3 13–3 9–4 7–3 14–4 2 / 35 76–33
Year-End Championship
Tennis Masters Cup RR RR 0 / 2 2–4
ATP Masters Series
Indian Wells 1R 3R 3R 1R 2R 2R 2R QF 0 / 8 9–8
Miami LQ SF 2R 1R 1R 3R 4R SF 0 / 7 13–7
Monte Carlo 1R 0 / 1 0–1
Rome 1R 1R 2R 1R F 1R 0 / 6 6–6
Hamburg 2R 1R 0 / 2 1–2
Canada 1R 2R QF 2R W QF QF F 1 / 8 20–7
Cincinnati 1R 1R 3R 2R 3R W F F 1 / 8 19–7
Stuttgart (Stockholm) 2R SF 2R 2R 0 / 4 4–4
Paris 1R 2R 2R 3R 0 / 4 3–4
Win–Loss 0–0 0–0 0–0 0–2 8–7 7–7 4–2 7–7 13–5 12–5 7–7 17–4 2 / 48 75–46
Year End Ranking 751 293 243 66 20 66 62 2 4 16 15 7 N/A

LQ = lost in qualifying draw

Doubles[edit]

Tournament 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2014 SR W–L
Grand Slams
Australian Open 2R 2R 1R 3R 2R 1R 1R W 1R 1 / 9 10–7
French Open 1R 1R 3R 3R SF 3R 2R 0 / 7 11–6
Wimbledon QF SF QF SF QF 0 / 5 17–4
US Open QF 2R 3R SF 3R QF 0 / 6 15–6
Win–Loss 0–0 0–0 1–1 4–2 1–3 7–4 10–3 7–4 11–4 10–1 1–0 0–0 0–0 0–0 0–1 1 / 27 53–23
ATP Masters Series
Indian Wells QF 2R F W 2R QF 1 / 6 13–5
Miami 1R SF 0 / 2 4–1
Monte Carlo 1R 0 / 1 0–1
Rome 1R 1R QF QF QF 0 / 5 6–5
Hamburg QF SF 0 / 2 5–2
Canada 2R SF 2R QF SF W 1R 1 / 7 14–6
Cincinnati 1R SF QF F 2R 0 / 5 9–5
Stuttgart (Stockholm) 2R 1R 0 / 2 1–2
Paris QF 0 / 1 2–1
Win–Loss 0–0 0–0 0–0 2–1 2–5 8–5 3–2 15–6 8–3 7–2 3–2 6–2 0–0 0–0 0–0 2 / 31 54–28
Year End Ranking 664 434 225 64 60 30 30 12 16 19 121 120 1211 N/A

ATP Tour career earnings[edit]

Year Majors ATP wins Total wins Earnings ($) Money list rank
1997 1 0 1 2,923,519 3
1998 1 5 6 2,867,017 3
1999 0 1 1 1,254,574 12
2000 0 1 1 814,586 16
2001 0 1 1 1,670,592 7
Career 2 9 11 11,127,058 31

Video[edit]

  • Wimbledon 2000 Semi-Final – Agassi vs. Rafter (2003) Starring: Andre Agassi, Patrick Rafter; Standing Room Only, DVD Release Date: 16 August 2005, Run Time: 213 minutes, ASIN: B000A343QY.
  • Wimbledon 2001 Final: Rafter Vs Ivanisevic Standing Room Only, DVD Release Date: 30 October 2007, Run Time: 195 minutes, ASIN: B000V02CT6.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]