Rafter reminicises Tarango’s fight challenge in locker room
Sydney, May 09
Two-time US Open champion Pat Rafter says he once waited in the locker room for American Jeff Tarango so the pair could have a fist fight after an angry on-court exchange.
In an interview for the Australian Broadcasting Corp. Television show 'Enough Rope', the now-retired Rafter also said he often had a strained relationship with Pete Sampras.
"Sampras and I had our run-ins but we'd always talk," Rafter told interviewer Andrew Denton.
Rafter said Tarango wanted to become "the next John Mcenroe."
"Once he (Tarango) said let's go for a fight after the match," Rafter said. "And I thought 'well, this'd be a new one.' Anyway, so he wasn't there."
Rafter won the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award on the ATP Tour in 1997, 1999 and 2000.
He did not say when the incident took place, but the pair had an acrimonious exchange during a first-round match won by Rafter at the 1998 Australian Open.
Both Rafter and Tarango retired from the tour in 2003, although Rafter made a brief comeback in doubles late last year and at this year's Australian Open.
The 32-year-old Rafter says he is planning to move his family to France, but not for several years.
Rafter and his wife, ex-model Lara Feltham, have a two-year-old son, Joshua.
"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," Rafter said.