Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Patrick Rafter

Patrick "Pat" Michael 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. Rafter was elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2006. He was known for his natural serve-and-volley style of play. He became the first man in the Open Era to win Toronto, Cincinnati and the US Open in the same year (1998).
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. 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.
Rafter was on the Australian teams that won the World Team Cup in 1999 and 2001.
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 was on the Australian Davis Cup Team that lost in the final in 2000 (to Spain) and 2001 (to France). Ironically, 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).
Patrik Rafter Performance
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,[8] Rafter won the match 6–7(5), 6–4, 11–9. This represented the first time that Rafter was able to defeat Edberg.
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.
In 2002, he won the Australian of the Year award. This created some controversy as he had spent much of his career residing in Bermuda for tax purposes.
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, and in October 2010 was announced as the next Davis Cup captain for Australia.

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