The two-time U.S. Open champ (he retired in 2002) is playing
World Team Tennis this month for the Philadelphia Freedom.
SI: How does it feel to be Australia's most famous stay-at-home
Rafter: Is that what I'm known as in the States? (Laughs.) Well,
it was time to have a family. The thing I missed playing tennis
was not having a normal life.
SI: At 31, you're younger than Andre Agassi. Do you ever get an
itch to return to the tour?
Rafter: The thought comes in my mind every three or six months,
but I squash it because I know how much work is required to get
there and the pressure that you're under all the time.
SI: What happens if you start rolling over people in World Team
Tennis? Won't there be a part of you that will be thinking
Rafter: Absolutely nil on that, mate. But I am hoping to do
exactly what you just said.
SI: Your son, Josh, is two. What if he faces two-year-old Jaden
Agassi in the 2025 Wimbledon final?
Rafter: Jaden wins. He's got too many genes over there. I'm
fighting a losing battle.
SI: You're about to become a TV host. Tell us about it.
Rafter: I am doing Down to Earth with Pat Rafter, where I
interview people during a three-day adventure in Australia. We'll
do horseback riding, round up cattle or dive with great white
sharks. My first guest is Rachel Hunter, then Darryl Hannah.
SI: So you'll only have leggy blondes on the show?
Rafter: That's the way it's starting out, but I probably have to
get some fat little ugly bloke after that.
SI: Be honest. Have you ever owned one of those PAT RAFTER IS MY
SEX GOD T-shirts?
Rafter: I have a cupboardful. If you want one signed, I'll send
it to you (laughs). No, mate, I haven't.
SI: Tell us your perfect day 10 years from now.
Rafter: Waking up in a warm bed beside my wife. Taking my two or
three children out for a surf in the morning. We have a nice hot
breakfast on the beach and then go to the children's sports
carnival to watch them play. I get nine holes of golf in and come
back for a beer and a barbie and go to bed. Now I haven't thought
about that at all, have I?
For more from Patrick Rafter, go to si.com/siexclusive.
COLOR PHOTO: HARRISON DAVID/CORBIS SYGMA (RAFTER)