Game, set and cash to Rafter

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 October, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 October, 1996, 12:00am

Australian Patrick Rafter flew out of Hong Kong last night US$220,000 (HK$1.7 million) richer and looking forward to a three-month break.

Rafter (left) was ecstatic with his 6-2, 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 victory over American Vincent Spadea in the Marlboro Championships, his second career title and his biggest paycheque.

The 23-year-old, ranked 56 in the world, is taking the rest of the year off before starting his preparations for next year's Australian Open.

'No matter how hard you try not to think about the money, it's always at the back of your mind,' said Rafter. He said he had enjoyed the attention of the hordes of teenage fans who flocked to Victoria Park during the week.

Spadea, 22 and ranked 65, earned US$65,000.