Tennis news - Bernard Tomic takes swipe at Lleyton Hewitt following Australian Open exit
Bernard Tomic has taken a swipe at his Australia Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt following his straight sets Australian Open defeat to Marin Cilic.
The former World No.1 has held the role since October 2015, and Tomic was regularly selected to represent his country in 2016 but has not appeared since.
When asked whether he expected to play Davis Cup in 2019, he launched into a tirade before his press conference was ended by Australian Open officials.
“We have a lot of issues that not a lot of players are happy about,” he said.
“The players that I have spoken to aren’t. Myself, Kokkinakis, Kyrgios. I think once that sort of gets resolved we’ll see.
“I stand by my call a couple years ago. I knew something was wrong in the Davis Cup.
“And now there is Kokkinakis and Nick as well who aren’t playing because they have issues with some people. Hopefully that can be arranged and the best players can be playing for Australia.
“It just sucks to see some of the people who are there doing the wrong things.
“I think we all know who those people are. Hopefully it can be resolved and the best players can be playing. Until then, the person that’s there isn’t letting the players play.”
When asked to explain his comments, he highlighted Hewitt as a particular problem.
“It’s all Lleyton. I’m going to say it honestly. No one likes him any more,” Tomic said.
“He’s doing the wrong thing. He’s playing Davis Cup. I thought he’d retired. He’s playing all these matches and stuff like that.
“Absolutely, Kokkinakis, Kyrgios, we don’t want to play anymore because he’s ruined it. He’s ruined the system. Like, go away.
“I thought he’d retired, like, why are you still in tennis? Why do you still play all these doubles tournaments?”
He went on to suggest that the Australian Davis Cup system favours players who are signed to Hewitt’s management company.
“It’s funny all these players who got wildcards under our system, I think it’s guys like (Alex) Bolt … They’re all under his wing so he gets a percentage of that,” Tomic said.
" It’s a conflict of interest and I think that’s terrible. Am I right or am I wrong?"
“They’re all under his wing, under the management company. So it’s all a conflict of interest. The more they make here, the more he takes. You know what he’s doing and I think it’s wrong.
“He’s in Davis Cup and he’s doing the wrong thing and we don’t want to play anymore. I hope he can get moved and we can go back to having a good captain.
“He doesn’t put the players first, from what I’ve heard in the past year.
“He doesn’t put the players first. He doesn’t put Nick first. He doesn’t put Kokkinakis first. He always things of himself and it’s not good.
“You’re not playing any more bro. You’re retired. It’s not good. Wally was a great captain. Wally Masur was an unbelievable Davis Cup captain. He was somebody everyone liked.”
Nevertheless, Tomic said that his respect for Hewitt’s achievements on the court remains undiminished.
“There’s no way Lleyton’s legacy… his record in tennis speaks for itself. He’s an absolute champion but what he’s doing now is wrong.”