Date with Kate
FROM THE FRONT ROW
A day in the life ... Kate Waterhouse with Pat Rafter.
Australian former world No.1 tennis player Pat Rafter is the Davis Cup captain and an ambassador for clothing and underwear label Bonds. He chats with Kate Waterhouse about being a hands-on dad and going on date nights with his wife, Lara.
What is a day in the life of Pat Rafter?
There is no typical day, but if I were at home [in Australia], an ideal day for me would be to wake up and help my wife get the kids ready for school. I'll drive the [kids] to school and I'll come back and do some sort of sporting activity. Whether that's going for a mountain bike [ride] or going for a run, I like to do an hour-and-a-half [of exercise] every day. I catch up with some mates for lunch and then I'll go pick up the kids and take them to sport or bring them home to do their homework. That's a day when I'm at home but when I'm on the road it's a bit different.
So you are a hands-on dad?
Yes, I really enjoy being with the kids and helping them with their homework. Sometimes I'm a little bit suffocating for them … but they are at that age where they don't mind mum and dad. I'm sure in their teenage years they are going to go, ''You know what, back off''. Or when my daughter tells me she's going on a date …
What will you do?
I don't know, she is only seven, but every now and then a flash of the future comes to me and I shut [that thought] down straight away (laughs).
Being busy on the road and spending time with the children, how do you keep the romance alive with Lara?
We do ''date night'' once a week. We get someone in to look after the kids and we go to dinner and a movie. We do the odd weekend [away] every now and then but you're right, that is really important and I probably don't do it as much as I should because I am away a lot.
Are you a romantic?
Not really. I'd like to lie to you and say that I am. Every now and then I have a moment but they are few and far between. It's not acceptable really.
What is the most romantic thing you have ever done?
I would say when I married my wife but I don't have a lot to choose from, sorry Kate (laughs). I don't know, this drink is nice … (takes a gulp).
Will your children follow in your footsteps?
I don't think so. My boy [plays tennis] a couple of days a week but at this stage you would have to do it four or five days a week [to become a pro]. It's one of those sports that requires a lot of practice. I want them to do what they want to do. For me, I played tennis because I loved it. He's quite musical so we might steer him into the arts side of things. India likes her ballet and her dancing so we will just wait and see.
You don't strip down to your undies for Bonds any more, why did you give that away?
I'm too old! It's a young man's sport. There comes a time when you have to back off from that.
Are you that annoying relative that gives undies at Christmas time?
No, I find it weird to go in and buy undies and I'm not going to ring up Bonds and say, ''I need another 10 pairs for my father''. I'm not one of those.
Will tennis always be a part of your life?
I hope so.
What is the best advice you give to the younger players?
I try to make sure there is a real cultural thing, that's one thing I'm trying to instil in the guys. We are Australian and we had a really good reputation and we have sort of lost that a bit, and I'm trying to get them to work hard [but also] enjoy themselves. My attitude is that if you work hard and you have a positive attitude, then you'll get results … if you are going to go and enjoy yourself one night, then we train really hard [the next]. I think it has benefits down the line because when you do finish, like all athletes, you sit there and go, ''What do I do with myself?'' If you work hard and have a great work ethic, you will fit into a lot of different [job] positions in life, but if things come easily and you don't have a great work ethic then you won't succeed in life after your career finishes around the mid-30s. I'm really keen for the guys to have something to fall back on.
WE WENT TO The Bucket List, Bondi Beach.
WE ATE Mediterranean roasted baby-carrot salad with almond yoghurt and mint; crisp-skin Cone Bay barramundi fillet with snap peas, snowpeas, sweet corn and basil.
WE DRANK Stone & Wood Pacific Ale and 2011 Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio.
PAT WORE Bonds T-shirt and Raw jeans.