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Rafter committed to playing Davis Cup

MASON, Ohio -- European tournament
organizers can thank the Davis Cup for keeping popular Pat
Rafter interested in tennis -- otherwise the Australian would
have given the entire indoor season a miss.

The twice U.S. Open champion and twice Wimbledon runner-up
is one of the biggest draw cards in tennis, but says he hates
the European winter season.

"I'd miss the whole European indoors (season) because I just
hate it so much I'd just stop playing," he said.

Rafter, currently playing at the Tennis Masters Series-Cincinnati, said if
Australia were no longer in contention for the Davis Cup he
would quit after this month's U.S. Open and take at least six
months off.

"The Davis Cup will make me go to Europe and play. And once
I'm there, I'll apply myself and do what I have to do.

"But being in that weather and playing indoors... it's a
miserable feeling around there, no fun to play."

Australia, runner-up to Spain last year, faces Sweden in the
Davis Cup semifinals in September.

Rafter said he was definitely going to take at least six
months off from tennis, starting after Australia exits the Davis
Cup, and that the break might become permanent.

"I guess it's all the constant playing, constant pressure,
and all those sort of things. I just want to see if I can do
without them," he said.

"Sometimes you just don't want to show up on the court, and
some days you don't want to be there, and sometimes you don't
want to perform.

"And when you don't perform, you get booed off -- those
things you don't enjoy.

"I hope I don't miss it (tennis). For me, I hope I don't
miss it."