Sorry if this was posted before, but for anyone who didn't see it, its a good read. Rafter interview transcript -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Pat Rafter Whoever said nice guys finish last hasn't met Pat Rafter. He's a rare thing. A great sportsman - as respected for his behaviour as much as his achievements. A man whose enormous strength of character was as obvious after the game as during it. In short, he made Australia proud. Let's bring him on before I tear up. Ladies and gentlemen, Pat Rafter. ANDREW DENTON: You just got our highest "whoa" quotient of any guest. Well done. You even beat John Travolta. PAT RAFTER: Did I? ANDREW DENTON: Yeah, absolutely. PAT RAFTER: Thank you. ANDREW DENTON: But you have to dance later. PAT RAFTER: Did he dance? ANDREW DENTON: A little bit. He wasn't very good. PAT RAFTER: No, I'm not real good, either. ANDREW DENTON: Is that right? Now, you've been sort of out of the limelight for a couple of years since you retired. What have you been up to? PAT RAFTER: That was a question I hoped you wouldn't ask, but you had to ask. ANDREW DENTON: Oh look, I'll ask an easier one if you like. Who was the President of Greenland between 19... PAT RAFTER: Well, we had a baby pretty soon after my tennis career finished, and for that next year straight after I'd sort of stepped away from the game I wanted to just sort of sit down and reflect on what I wanted to do with my life. And after six months I decided that tennis wasn't going to be it anymore. Then we had a baby, and that's one of those things. I spend a lot of time at home and just still trying to - trying to find my feet. What do I want to do? Do I want to jump back into something again? Do I want to get back involved with tennis? I do owe tennis a lot. I need to put back in at some stage, but I'm not ready to do that. And we have another baby coming shortly too, so for the next sort of three or four years I want to be there for the babies and my family. ANDREW DENTON: What, you are about four weeks away from baby number two? PAT RAFTER: Number two coming up, so... ANDREW DENTON: Is the nursery all set up? Are you all clucky? PAT RAFTER: My wife has been nesting. ANDREW DENTON: Yes. PAT RAFTER: Everything's ready to rock and roll, and it's going to be another big change and it's another great step in my life. I'm looking forward to it. ANDREW DENTON: Yeah, I'll bet you are. I'll get back to what you're going to do next a bit later. Let's take you on a trip down memory lane, "whoo". Would you mind doing that too please? PAT RAFTER: "Whoo". ANDREW DENTON: Fantastic. See, we can't afford special effects at the ABC, so we have to get you to do it. Let's go back to the '97 US Open, your first Grand Slam title, where you walloped Greg Rusedski. Here's some footage. (VIDEO PLAYED) (VIDEO ENDS) ANDREW DENTON: That's still good. Now, what of that day is still with you? PAT RAFTER: I try not to reflect too much on it, but when I do see it, like, on an interview or something like that, it's really exciting and it's great, but those days are over as well. ANDREW DENTON: You don't walk around the house going, "I won the US Open"? PAT RAFTER: No, it's just when you remind me, people like yourself. I don't know. I just don't like to live in the past that much. It was a great thing. I really enjoyed that moment. It was dream that I'd always wanted, and it came true. A couple of dreams didn't come true, but that's okay. ANDREW DENTON: We'll get to those bitter, bitter moments shortly. PAT RAFTER: Did I say that bitterly, did I? ANDREW DENTON: No, I was just trying to inject some real tension into the interview. After that US Open, is it true you forgot to pick up the winner's cheque? PAT RAFTER: I don't know how that all works. No, I think they just sort of send it out, I don't know. We had a party to go to. ANDREW DENTON: Oh right. PAT RAFTER: We had no time for cheques. Yeah, that could have been. They would have mailed it out, I suppose. But in my house I don't have the trophies. My mother has both of them I think. So I don't go around the house looking at them saying, "Yes, I won that; I did that", so I'll have to find a special place for them later. ANDREW DENTON: Yeah, and when you actually won that tournament, which was quite big prize money, you said to your family, "I'm going to give half of it to a children's charity." PAT RAFTER: Well, Newc came on - John Newcombe came on the court to do an interview for Channel 9, and I pulled him aside and said, "Newc", I said, "this was one of my things I always prayed for and I said I'd always do, that if I was a kid that if I ever won a Grand Slam I'd give it all away to charity." And Newc just said, "Well, let's, you know, steady on a little bit. You know, you've won one tournament now so, and you may need to be set up for some of your life. Let's give away some of it", and that's pretty well what I did. So I didn't consult my parents over that. I just went straight into Newc and said - so we gave half of it away to Starlight Foundation at that stage. And then we set up my charity a couple years later. ANDREW DENTON: And when you rang home, what was the first part of the conversation? Was it, "Well done" or was it, "You gave how much?" PAT RAFTER: I can't remember the conversation. ANDREW DENTON: What was motivating this, because it was a very generous thing to do? As you said, since a kid you'd dreamed of it? PAT RAFTER: Well, different stages of your life you go through different religious beliefs, I think. And I was brought up as a Catholic and had to go to church, not that I wanted to go. But as a young kid, we got dragged along with nine of us, with mum and dad, to church. There was a sense of I guess putting back or something, I wasn't quite sure because I remember always seeing my father putting money into the little box that used to go around and we had no money back then, and I just thought that that was what you had to do. And I still to this day. We've still got to give away to people who are less fortunate. I know it's a cliché, but there is a certain amount that we have to give back as well. ANDREW DENTON: It's not a cliché. It's a philosophy. It's a good one. PAT RAFTER: Philosophy. You're right. ANDREW DENTON: Of course, winning a Grand Slam doesn't happen every day. You were on the circuit for 12 years, and, truth be told, it's often boring. I remember Jim Courier once opening a book in between sets, and you're travelling city to city seeing the same guys over and over and I think it's fair to say there's only so many times you can get excited about seeing, you know, Richard Krajicek once in any given year. What passed for fun on the circuit? PAT RAFTER: It really started becoming hard. Not for those first few years, because you hadn't succeeded at what you set out to succeed, and that was winning a Grand Slam, winning Davis Cup, winning Wimbledon. These were the ones that you wanted to do. And after one of my first Grand Slams, it was great, but I wanted to see if I could do it again. That drove me to the next year, where I won '98 as well. But then there was also doing well at the Australian Open, doing well at Wimbledon. But not just doing well, you had to win 'em. I don't want to come second or third. It's not good enough. ANDREW DENTON: It's rubbish, rubbish. PAT RAFTER: But you know, you set your goals, you've got to keep re-setting your goals. And I was excited by that, but my last year on the tennis circuit, I knew I had 13 tournaments to go, and then there was 12 and I just counted them down. When I sort of got a bit injured, I thought, "You beauty, I've only got one left." So for six weeks I sat back and did nothing. ANDREW DENTON: Right; so it was that strong a feeling by the end. You just wanted out. PAT RAFTER: Oh mate, just had to get out.