The Australians have enourmously rich tennis history. As well in men’s as women’s tennis, also in team rivalry and in organizing competitions. Moreover legendary players like for example Rod Laver, Ken Rosewell, Roy Emerson, Tony Roche or Margaret Court whether Evonne Goolagong are the names which changed the sport of tennis and their impact or results are still important for upcoming generations of competitors on the courts. They worked out longevity and best hall of fame status.
One of the remarkable person in Aussie tennis is Pat Rafter who was the player great to watch. His serve with fantastic volleys was the game which mostly does not exist in singles as most of the contenders are baseliners or more universal players?
Results, contracts, honours
In the years of Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, the Australian was the man who won two times US Open championship and achieved two finals of Wimbledon. In doubles rivalry he triumphed in Australian Open with Swede Jonas Bjorkman, the current Andy Murray’s coach. The Kangaroo is also former number one in the world ranked player, although it lasted only for one week. The stats won-lost in singles are 358-191 and in doubles are 214-111. Earnings totally on the court were 11.127.058 $, of course additionally contracts with companies like Prince, Reebok or Dunlop. Since his retirement, Rafter become an underwear model for Bonds and brand ambassador for the Mantra Group of hotels. So good results in the career gave Pat lots of honours. In merits of Rafter the 5,500 seat centre court of the Queensland Tennis Centre in Brisbane was named Pat Rafter Arena. 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. Then probable the most wonderful moments for Pat’s tennis glory was to be elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame and inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2006 and as well Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award.
Art of Serve and volley with suncream on the face
Pat began playing tennis at the age of five with father and brothers. In his professional adventure with tennis he was the player making art when he was coming to the net. His dropshot, stopvolleys or overheads was such an amazing artistry. One of the spell-binding serve-and-volley showdown you can see here: Rafter vs Edberg (match highlights)
His game could be compared to Stefan Edberg, Tim Henman or Richard Krajicek or most of the guys nowadays playing doubles because he had an unbelievable effectivity while playing at the net. This kind of play with grace and charm was always respected a lot especially on Wimbledon. He became the first man in the Open Era to win Toronto, Cincinnati and the US Open in the same year (1998)
The best of The Man from Mount Isa in Quennsland you can see here:
The Davis Cup adventure
Patrick Rafter is aged 42 now and in recent period he was leading the Davis Cup Aussie team as captain. He started its function in October 2010. He stepped down on 29 January 2015. He was succeeded by Wally Masur. While captaining Pat introduced Nick Kyrgios and Thanassi Kokkinakis to the team, the Australian “young guns” in the ATP circuit. Australia is 28th times Davis Cup wining team but the last triumph was in year 2003. As a player Rafter made his debut in the team in year 1994. Overall he played eight years with stats win-loss 21-11 with number of ties – 18. Most of the ties in Aussie team has got Lleyton Hewitt – 41.
Sportsmanship rewards & Man of the year in Australia
Apart amazing matches with Stefan Edberg and serve’n volleys feasts Rafter is four-time winner of Stefan Edberg sportsmanship award. Moreover Pat did lots of charity actions and for him Andre Agassi was not only great tennis champion but important person doing in charity. “I think Andre Agassi is one of the greatest role models that we have in tennis” – said Pat. He had also great respect to Pete Sampras – “Pete was such a better player than me”. Within weeks of his retirement, Rafter was named Australian of the Year in 2002.