ADELAIDE: Tennis Australia accused firebrand Bernard Tomic on Saturday of deliberately trying to sabotage the nation’s Davis Cup team in a nasty spat with captain Lleyton Hewitt and withdrew all support for him.
Tomic launched an extraordinary attack on two-time Grand Slam champion Hewitt during the Australian Open last month, saying “no one likes him any more” while claiming he had ruined the national tennis system.
He alleged there were deep divisions in the Australian men’s game.
Hewitt responded by washing his hands of the player, alleging he had been blackmailed and physically threatened by the combustible 26-year-old.
Tomic’s father John then said he planned legal action against Hewitt over an incident he claimed occurred in 2010 when his son was a Davis Cup debutant.
Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley said he was “deeply disappointed with the ongoing disrespect from Bernard and his father”.
“Lleyton is right to say Bernard will not be considered for Davis Cup. Bernard does not meet the standards of behaviour and commitment to himself, the team or the sport,” said Tiley.
“Now, he is deliberately trying to damage that culture — and not for the first time.
“We have given (Tomic) more than a decade of support. Ultimately, we have to draw a line when the behaviour does not warrant the support.”
John Tomic claimed the incident in 2010 left his son traumatised.
He alleged Hewitt came to his son’s hotel room during an Australian tie against Taiwan in March 2010 and pressured him to reveal who from Tennis Australia was telling him what to say publicly.
Hewitt, who was not playing after hip surgery, had at the time been highly critical of TA during a period of turmoil for the sport’s governing body.
Tiley said it was the first he heard about it.
“In regards to John Tomic’s recent claim in the media about an alleged incident in 2010, we are not aware of any formal complaint lodged by either John or Bernard,” he said.
“Both Bernard and John have enjoyed a lot of support since in many areas of their lives — including a long and sustained period of personal commitment and whole-hearted effort from Lleyton Hewitt as Davis Cup captain.”
Tomic, who rose to a career-high 17 at his peak, has not played Davis Cup since 2016 and claims Hewitt “doesn’t put the players first”.
Australia are currently playing a Davis Cup qualifier against Bosnia and Herzegovina in Adelaide.