Age: 43 (born December 28, 1972)
Residence: Pembroke, Bermuda
Birthplace: Mount Isa, Australia
Plays: Right Handed
Grand Slam Titles Won: Singles- US Open (1997, 1998) Doubles- Australian Open (1999)
ATP World Tour titles: 21 (11 Singles, 10 Doubles)
Highest ATP World ranking: 1 – Singles (1999)
Career Prize Money: $11,133,128
The affable Aussie is popular both on and off the court, he proves that the widely held belief that the good guy rarely comes out on top, isn’t always correct. Rafter was known and admired for his serve-and-volley style, which suited the grass courts of Wimbledon, where he reached the final in 2000 and 2001. Rafter captured back-to-back US Open titles in 1997 and 1998 – the only Australian to do so in the Open Era. To his dismay he also contested the Australian Open nine times during his career and ended up empty handed on all occasions.
Rafter was also a regular in Australia’s Davis Cup teams between 1994-2001, and finished with an impressive 21-11 win-loss record (18-10 in singles, 3-1 in doubles). Rafter contested two Davis Cup finals in succession, against Spain in 2000 and the French a year later, but ended up on the losing side both times. The 2001 Davis Cup final was his last professional match and within weeks of his retirement, Rafter was named ‘Australian of the Year 2002’.
Rafter was respected for his sportsmanship, which saw him honoured with the ‘Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award’ and four ATP ‘Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Awards’. Those admiring politeness were regularly taken aback by his respect for his opponents, whoever was standing the other side of the net. In fact, the call of “sorry mate” became something of a Rafter trademark.