Pat Rafter doesn’t look like this anymore! Tennis ace is almost unrecognizable in recent images
After spending decades in the spotlight as one of Australia’s most successful tennis stars, Pat Rafter now enjoys a quieter life away from the public eye in Byron Bay.
But the former world number one tennis player recently made a rare public appearance.
Rafter was once named People’s Sexiest Athlete Alive, the same year he shot to fame after his first win at the US Open in 1997.
At the time, he sported a thick mane of long hair, a stubble beard, and an etched six-pack.
These days, the 50-year-old has ditched his signature shoulder-length hair.
After spending 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 away from the public eye in Byron Bay
The sports star’s beard also seems to have fans talking, as he’s decided to grow it out to show off his brown and gray facial hair.
Pat now spends most of his time at his million dollar home in Byron Bay with his wife Lara and their two children Joshua, 20, and India, 18.
He rarely appears in public, but was photographed with his gray beard last year addressing media in Brisbane.
After making a public appearance in 2022, many fans have said the former world number one tennis player looks unrecognizable. Pictured: Rafter last December
The tennis star’s beard seems to have fans talking as he decided to grow it out and showed off his brown and gray facial hair
The US Open champion spoke last year at the Pat Rafter Arena at the Queensland Tennis Center, which was named after him when it opened in 2008.
Rafter also let tongues loose at this year’s Australian Open when he trained in a Melbourne Park gym during the first week of the tournament.
“Still looking good,” wrote one fan of the two-time Grand Slam winner.
Although he has tried to live a quiet life after a protracted career, Rafter has not shied away from controversy.
In January this year, tennis star Nick Kyrgios publicly lashed out at Rafter for labeling his doubles match with Thanasi Kokkinakis as a ‘circus’ that sidelines other stars.
He added that the tennis legend has “absolutely no idea” how today’s players think.
Rafter also let tongues loose at this year’s Australian Open when he worked out at a gym in Melbourne Park during the tournament. Rafter seen in January 2023
The 50-year-old has dropped his signature shoulder-length hair, but he still keeps his dark brown locks tousled and long (pictured in 1998)
The ‘Special Ks’ were a big draw at last year’s Australian Open when they won the men’s doubles title in flamboyant style, partying wildly on the court as they got the crowd going – but angering several of their opponents.
Rafter showed he’s not exactly a fan of the duo’s style in comments on 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 the point.
“If they create drama, create ticket sales and people watch, then that’s good for them, but at what cost I don’t know.
Tennis star Nick Kyrgios publicly lashed out at Rafter for labeling his doubles match with Thanasi Kokkinakis as a ‘circus’ that sidelines other stars
“The players are really upset. Do you have to understand the unwritten rule that if you do, don’t behave like that?’
Kyrgios didn’t budge and hit back on Twitter shortly after the podcast was published.
“He would have absolutely no idea what the locker room is thinking,” the 29-year-old wrote.
Me and Kokk have great relationships with most of the players on tour. Dude has no idea.’
Kyrgios said Rafter has “absolutely no idea” how today’s players think