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Pat Rafter’s coach Tony Roche says the dual US Open champion must return to the game by April if he wants to have another crack at Wimbledon.

The recently named Australian of the Year is in the midst of "indefinite break" from tennis, having last played in Australia's Davis Cup final loss to France in December.

But having already missed the Australian Open and taken time off to travel overseas, Roche says Rafter must soon get back into training if he is to have another shot at Wimbledon, where he has lost the last two finals.

"I'd say by April he'll have to make a decision whether he's going to make a comeback or not (for Wimbledon)," Roche said. "I haven't spoken to him, he's a hard man to catch.

"He's just enjoying his time off, he's seeing a lot of Australia which is what he's always wanted to do and he's got some good friends out here and he's spending a lot of time with them."

In 2000 Rafter looked to have Pete Sampras at his mercy after winning the first set and moving a break ahead in the second, but confessed to being overcome by the occasion as Sampras won in four.

Then last year Rafter succumbed to Croatian wildcard Goran Ivanisevic in a five-set thriller in the final.

Another factor tipped to sway Rafter's mind away from the game is the recent news that his partner Lara Feltham is expecting a baby in July, the month in which the Wimbledon tournament reaches its conclusion.

Roche, who has been Rafter's personal coach since 1997 and a close confidante for even longer, said he had been approached by other players, including Briton Tim Henman, but isn't interested.

"I had a few approaches earlier in the year but I'm pretty much involved here in Australia with the Optus junior teams and I'll be spending the whole year here, unless Rafter comes back I may go to Wimbledon," Roche said.
 

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Well I really hope Pat will make his comeback. Couse it may be his last chance to ever win Wimbledon.

But to be honest I doubt it.....
 

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I dont think he will be back for Wimbledon

cos thats the time Lara is "due"
 

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I don't think he will be back :sad:

I think he had a good run and injuries just wore him out.

I hope he enjoys his tennis-less life! He deserves all the fun and happiness in the world!
 

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"Wimbledon is unfinished business..."

But then he also said earlier last year he'd play through to the Aussie Open if he qualified for the Masters' Cup. So there you go...

Of course, I'd love it if he came back to play at Wimbledon and won it! :) And bring his form over to the US Open and get his hattrick! Tennis misses him. All his fans miss him. Hope he feels the same. Otherwise, he shd have a great life, with his kid and wife-to-be.
 
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