After decades in the spotlight as one of Australia’s most successful tennis stars, Pat Rafter now enjoys a quieter life out of the public eye in Byron Bay.
But the former world number one tennis player made a rare public outing recently.
Rafter was once voted People’s Sexiest Athlete Alive, the same year he rose to stardom after his first US Open win in 1997.
Back then he sported a thick head of long hair, a stubbled beard, and an etched six pack.
These days the 50-year-old has ditched his signature shoulder-length hair.
After decades in the spotlight as one of Australia’s most successful tennis stars with two grand slam wins, Pat Rafter (pictured in 2000) now enjoys a quieter life out of the public eye in Byron Bay
The sports star’s beard is also what appears to have fans talking, as he has decided to grow it out to show off his brown and grey facial hair.
Pat now spends most of his time in his million dollar home in Byron Bay with his wife Lara and their two children Joshua, 20, and India, 18.
He rarely makes public appearances, but was photographed last year with his grey beard as he spoke to media in Brisbane.
After a public outing in 2022 many fans have been saying that the former world number one tennis player looks unrecognisable. Pictured: Rafter last December
The tennis star’s beard is what appears to have fans talking, as he decided to grow it out, showing off his brown and grey facial hair
The US Open champion was speaking at the Pat Rafter Arena in Queensland Tennis Centre last year, which was named after him when it opened in 2008.
Rafter also set tongues wagging during this year’s Australian Open, when he was spotted working out in a Melbourne Park gym during the tournament’s first week.
‘Still good looking,’ wrote one fan of the two-time grand slam winner.
While he has tried to maintain a quiet life after a long-standing career, Rafter has not stayed out of controversies.
In January this year, tennis star Nick Kyrgios publicly lashed out at Rafter for branding his doubles pairing with Thanasi Kokkinakis a ‘circus’ that is getting other stars offside.
He added that the tennis legend has ‘absolutely zero idea’ how today’s players think.
Rafter also set tongues wagging during this year’s Australian Open, when he was spotted working out in a Melbourne Park gym during the tournament. Rafter seen in January 2023
The 50-year-old has ditched his signature shoulder-length hair, but he still keeps his brunette locks tousled and long (pictured in 1998)
The ‘Special Ks’ were a huge drawcard at last year’s Australian Open as they won the men’s doubles title in flamboyant style, with wild celebrations on the court as they got the crowd onside – but angering several of their opponents.
Rafter showed he’s not exactly a fan of the duo’s style in comments made to the Australian Open’s Happy Slam podcast.
‘It’s a bit of a circus. Doubles is a great event, it’s a lot of fun and it helps you with singles, but it’s not where it’s at.
‘If they create drama, create ticket sales, and they create people watching, then good on them, but at what expense, I don’t know.
Tennis star Nick Kyrgios publicly lashed out at Rafter for branding his doubles pairing with Thanasi Kokkinakis a ‘circus’ that is getting other stars offside
‘The players are really upset. Are you supposed to understand the unwritten rule that that’s not how you behave when you do?’
Kyrgios wasn’t taking that lying down, hitting back in a Twitter shortly after the podcast was published.
‘He would have absolutely zero idea what the locker room thinks,’ the 29-year-old wrote.
‘Me and kokk have great relationships with most of the players on tour. Guy is clueless.’
Kyrgios said Rafter has ‘absolutely zero idea’ how today’s players think