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Patrick Rafter

Pat Rafter is Australia's greatest singles tennis player since the legendary John Newcombe in the 1970s. His back to back victories at the US Open, his climb to the top of the world rankings and his rugged good looks have won him over millions...

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Patrick Rafter Travels from QLD
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Patrick Rafter's Biography

Pat Rafter is Australia's greatest singles tennis player since the legendary John Newcombe in the 1970s. His back to back victories at the US Open, his climb to the top of the world rankings and his rugged good looks have won him over millions of fans world-wide. But he hasn't done it easy, fighting back from a number of serious injuries.
Pat Rafter turned pro in 1991 and began to make his mark on the ATP tour in 1993 and '94 after victories over Pete Sampras, a fourth-round appearance at the French Open and a first career title in Manchester. But it wasn't long before injury started to take its toll and in late '95 he had surgery to repair torn cartilage in his wrist.
He'd earlier recorded his best result on home soil with a fourth-round appearance at the Australian Open.
Injury again plagued Pat Rafter in 1996 when he was forced to sit out more than three months of the circuit with recurring wrist and ankle problems. His defining moment came in the final of the '98 US Tennis Open where he downed Greg Rusedski to take his first Grand Slam title.
With many pundits, including John McEnroe, predicting it was a one-off career highlight, Rafter proved his champion qualities to repeat the performance the following year, this time beating compatriot Mark Philippoussis. But Rafter was missing, again due to injury, from one of Australia's recent sporting triumphs, the Davis Cup win in Nice last year. He was instrumental in helping Australia reach the final, beating both Todd Martin and Jim Courier as the Aussies downed the United States in the quarter-finals played in Boston.
Searching for his third consecutive US Open title in 1999 Rafter withdrew from his first round match against Cedric Pioline after suffering severe tendonitis in his right shoulder. He later had surgery on the rotator cuff in his right shoulder which ruled him out of the Davis Cup final and he didn't play for the rest of the year. But Pat Rafter will remember 1999 not just for the injury but for the three weeks he held the number one position on world rankings. That period began on July 26, almost 25 years to the day since it had last been held by an Australian in Newcombe.
The injury saw him miss this year's Australian Open but after recording a tour victory in the Netherlands Rafter jumped straight on a plane to play some of his best tennis at Wimbledon. Two weeks later world number one Pete Sampras was the only thing that stood in Rafter's way in his quest to become the first Australian to win Wimbledon since Pat Cash in 1987. But the American beat Rafter in four sets and created history himself by bettering Roy Emmerson's Grand Slam record of victories.
Since Wimbledon Pat Rafter has admitted his form hasn't been at its best which culminated with a first-round exit from the 2000 US Open. Sydney is likely to be Rafter's one and only Olympic campaign where the hometown favourite will undoubtedly entertain his Australian fans while searching for a medal.