Celebrating two Grand Slam champions named Pat on St. Patrick's Day

Australians Pat Cash and Pat Rafter were fan favorites in their eras

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On St. Patrick's Day, we tend to think of Irish people or those named Patrick. The tennis version of this celebration focuses on the latter with a look back at two of the most famous Pats to play the game. Both are Australians with one-handed backhands, and both are Grand Slam champions.

Pat Cash is 58 years old, but he will forever be immortalized as the 1987 Wimbledon Champion. He defeated World No. 1 Ivan Lendl. Cash was the first to climb up to his players' box to celebrate the win with his family, most notably his father Pat Cash Sr.

Cash never watched his Wimbledon celebration after living it. He was very close to his father whom he lost in 2008. It was forever etched in tennis history for what transpired on the court and off-the-court. From then on, players went to their boxes to celebrate Grand Slam wins with their teams.

Pat Rafter's success came at the US Open

While Cash's biggest moments happened on grass, Pat Rafter's greatest successes happened on hardcourts, but not those in Australia, the New York hardcourts.

Rafter, 51, was the 1997 and 1998 US Open champion. His good looks made him popular with female fans. He was not a big talker; his racquet and game talked for him. Rafter played in the Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi era of tennis and was the first non-American to win the US Open since Stefan Edberg in 1992. He had his share of critics, namely John McEnroe, who called him a one-slam wonder despite being a finalist at Wimbledon in 2000 and 2001.

He won 11 career titles, two were Grand Slams. Rafter was out of tennis just five years later in 2003; he retired in his early 30s citing lost motivation. Fans hear his name each year because the center court at Brisbane International is named after him.

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