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  Monday, 9 July, 2001, 16:39 GMT 17:39 UK
Rafter 'flat' after final
Australia was not short of backers in the crowd
Australia was not short of backers in the crowd
Pat Rafter has insisted that he will take time off at the end of the year following his Wimbledon defeat at the hands of Goran Ivanisevic.

But the Australian refused to be drawn on his plans for next year and whether he would return to Wimbledon in the future.

Rafter described the final as "a lot of fun" and refused to dwell on his 6-3 3-6 6-3 2-6 9-7 loss.


I'll definitely be taking time off at the end of the year and who knows if I'll be back next year
Pat Rafter
"I've pretty well had my little depression, it's disappointing but at the end of the day it was a tennis match and we had fun.

"It was a bit flat in the locker room with all my mates but I had a couple of beers and reflected on what a great two weeks I had had."

But the number three seed, who lost in last year's final to Pete Sampras, admitted that this defeat hurt more than his first in a final at the All England Club.

"The first time was fun but this time I didn't want to be second - it's disappointing and it hurts more than last time.

"It also hurts that I didn't do it for Rochey (coach Tony Roche) - we're a 50-50 combination and I would have liked to do it for him.

"But it was a good final and an amazing atmosphere.

Tony Roche coaches Pat Rafter
Tony Roche shares his wisdom with Rafter
"I was expecting that atmosphere and the Aussie crowd were great and I'm really proud of the way they conducted themselves.

"I don't know if Wimbledon has ever seen anything like it and I don't think it will again - it was electric. That's what we play for and it was so much fun.

Rafter identified the difference between the players as their serving power and while his opponent beat the championship record for aces he was unhappy with his own serve.

"I knew I had a good chance. Against Pete I went in feeling like the underdog but this year I knew it was a 50-50 occasion, but it was a close match and the scoreline emphasised that.

"I was really close again but it was taken out of my hands - he served well when he had to - you have to take your hat off to him and that's the way it goes.


I didn't serve how I had hoped to - someone had to break down and my serve was more likely to breakdown than his
Pat Rafter
"He came out in the fifth serving very well and it's not much fun being down the other end trying to get it back - I was hoping he would serve a fault.

"I wasn't happy with my first serve and I didn't serve how I had hoped to. Someone had to break down and my serve was more likely to breakdown than his."

Rafter will now build for the US Open, which he has won twice, but will take a three-week break prior to the hard court season before taking a longer break at the end of the year.

"I'll definitely be taking time off at the end of the year and who knows if I'll be back next year," Rafter said fuelling speculation as to his plans.

What he does know is that he will have a few beers to celebrate a "great few weeks".

Wimbledon site

Men's singles final

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Henman's defeat

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SOL at Wimbledon

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See also:

09 Jul 01 | Wimbledon 2001
09 Jul 01 | Wimbledon 2001
08 Jul 01 | Wimbledon 2001
Links to more Wimbledon 2001 stories are at the foot of the page.


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