Tomic lashes teammate Kyrgios commitment after Davis Cup exit
Australia’s two leading stars Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios are at odds forcing new captain Lleyton Hewitt into a peacemaking role after an extraordinary post-script to Australia’s Davis Cup loss to the United States on Sunday.
Tomic challenged the commitment of Kyrgios to the Davis Cup competition after his team-mate’s withdrawal from the Kooyong tie with illness and back trouble.
John Isner was too strong for Tomic winning 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (7/4) to deliver the Americans the tie 3-1 and reach the competition’s quarter-finals.
Yet there was controversy during the match when Tomic was overheard during a changeover questioning Kyrgios’s absence from the tie.
While in conversation with team captain Hewitt, television microphones caught Tomic muttering: “Nick’s sitting down in Canberra. Bullshit he’s sick.”
Tomic was also heard saying “that’s twice he’s done it”, in possible reference to Kyrgios’s withdrawal from the tie against the Czech Republic last year.
Tomic later did not resile from his comments and questioned the legitimacy of the virus that ruled out Kyrgios if he was competing as planned in an American tournament this week.
Tomic said he spoke to his teammate after his loss and Kyrgios told him he was planning to play in Indian Wells, California, this week.
– ‘In the heat of the moment’ –
Australia’s top-ranked player recalled that a similar situation occurred a year ago when Kyrgios withdrew from the Davis Cup against the Czech Republic.
“He didn’t come to Czech and had stress fractures and somehow played Indian Wells and felt good,” Tomic said at the post-match press conference.
“Now it’s going to be funny for me to see whether he plays.
“If he plays Indian Wells, then he’s definitely lost a little bit of my respect.”
Tomic said it was disappointing not to have Kyrgios playing in this weekend’s David Cup tie.
“He’s an amazing player and it would have been important to have him here.”
Hewitt, who came out of retirement for Saturday’s five-set doubles loss to the crack Bryan brothers in Kyrgios’s absence, said he did not share Tomic’s sentiments.
The captain said they were “in the heat of the moment, and frustration”, but Tomic continued to question Kyrgios at the media conference.
“For me, we ruled Nick out,” Hewitt said. “He came down here, he gave everything he had to try and put his hand up to be available, there’s no doubt he was sick, absolutely no doubt.
“We did a fitness test with him on Thursday morning before we had to make any decision about changing names before the draw, and he was ruled out by the medical staff.
“I had to sit down and try and come up with the best possible plan without using Nick then.
“Bernie’s come here and Bernie wasn’t 100 percent and he hasn’t been for the last few weeks and he came out and gave absolutely 100 percent in his matches here and did exactly what I asked him to do.
“For me, though, I asked Nick to come down here and be prepared to give it a shot and he did that as well, and then he got ruled out by the medical staff, so for me both boys did exactly what I asked them to do.”
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