Pat Cash

Born: May 27, 1965 in Melbourne (Victoria)
Height: 1.83 m
Plays: Right-handed
Considered one of the most accomplished players without reaching the 300 main-level wins milestone, Cash’s sudden decline in the ’90s potentially deprived tennis of numerous thrilling matches. He belonged to the same generation as Stefan Edberg and Boris Becker, emerging as an elite serve-and-volleyer in the mid-’80s before turning 20 (the US Open ’84 semifinal was his most captivating result as a teenager… he was using a wooden/graphite composite manufactured by Puma). While lacking Becker’s serve and forehand or Edberg’s backhand, Cash compensated with a warrior-like mentality, an acute game sense, and his early career successes were comparable to these achieved by the multiple Grand Slam champions.
By the age of 23 in 1988, Cash had contested three major finals (equalling Edberg and Becker) and steered Australia to two Davis Cup victories (1983 and 1986), contributing significantly to both triumphs by securing crucial points and clinching decisive matches. Cash’s commendable head-to-head records against Ivan Lendl (3-3 at majors, including Wimbledon ’87 final – the last Grand Slam title won using an aluminium racquet, PrinceMagnesium Pro”) and Mats Wilander (5-4 record overall) suggest he could have been a formidable contender not only against Pete Sampras but also against Michael Chang, Andre Agassi, and Jim Courier in competitive Grand Slam encounters of the 90s. However, his prowess wasn’t as pronounced on clay courts due to relatively weaker groundstrokes. Technically, his mastery of the lob surpassed that of Edberg and Becker, proving instrumental on faster surfaces but inconsequential on clay.
The Wimbledon ’88 tournament, culminating in an unexpectedly short defeat to Becker, marked the conclusion of Cash’s peak years on the tour (he already switched to a graphite racquet, Yonnex “Rex-50”). Over the subsequent nine years, he grappled mainly with injuries (knee and Achilles tendon) and made sporadic attempts at resurrecting his career. His involvement in several seasons (1989, 1994-97) was limited to just a few tournaments, in 1993 he didn’t play at all (he’d experienced an extended period on the sidelines for the first time in the years 1985-86 when a back injury caused his fall from no. 7 to no. 413 between Wimbledons). Throughout this turbulent period, he clinched a solitary impressive win in Dubai ’95, stunning Thomas Muster, who was at the peak of his form, in a hard-fought match (2-6, 6-4, 6-4) being two games away from defeat in consecutive sets. “My goal is not to be a Top 20 player again, I believe in my game and have to show those guys I’m serious and came back” – said the 526th player in the ranking. In his another event he reached the Copenhagen quarterfinal surviving two dramatic matches, and it was basically over of his serious comeback. For another two years he would win only two matches losing fourteen.
Post-retirement, Cash transitioned to coaching top players like Mark Philippoussis and Greg Rusedski while also participating regularly in the Champions Tour, albeit without securing a title in any of those events. His trademark: black and white chequered headband (he wore it from 1987 to the end of his career ten years later).
Career record: 243–148 [ 139 events ]
Career titles: 6
Highest ranking: No. 4
Best GS results:
Australian Open (runner-up 1987-88; quarterfinal 1982 & 84)
Wimbledon (champion 1987; semifinal 1984; quarterfinal 1986 & 88)
US Open (semifinal 1984)
Davis Cup champion 1983 & 86
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