TA shuts door on Tomic return
TENNIS Australia has raised the stakes in their standoff with Bernard Tomic, claiming he was deliberately trying to harm the Davis Cup team and would "not be considered'' for a recall.
Tomic, Australia's sixth-ranked man and a former top-20 player, doubled down on criticism of Australian captain Lleyton Hewitt last month which led Hewitt to say that the 26-year-old Gold Coaster would not be picked for Cup duty while he was in charge.
TA CEO Craig Tiley made his most forceful comment on the public stoush, saying TA had to "draw a line when the behaviour does not warrant support''.
It came on the eve of an interview with 60 Minutes, in which Channel 9 says Tomic reveals "the truth'' about threats which Hewitt were said by the former Australian No.1 to him and his family.
"Bernard does not meet the standards of behaviour and commitment to himself, the team or the sport,'' Tiley said.
"Now, he is deliberately trying to damage that culture - and not for the first time. Our organisation remains deeply disappointed with the ongoing disrespect from Bernard and his father (John Tomic). We have given more than a decade of support.
"Lleyton is right to say Bernard will not be considered for Davis Cup.''
John Tomic last month said Hewitt had in 2010 had pressured a 17-year-old Tomic to give him information regarding Hewitt's dealing with TA when still a player.
"We are not aware of any formal complaint lodged by either John or Bernard,'' Tiley said.
"Both Bernard and John have enjoyed a lot of support since in many areas of their lives.''
Bernard Tomic said on Channel 9 that he accepts his past mistakes.
"I can't take it back. I am who I am, I've done what I've done," he said. "I've had my problems off court."
Counting Tomic, Australia has nine top-130 men in the world rankings, with 19-year-old Alexei Popyrin, ranked No.126, the latest Australian Davis Cup squad addition.
Only the United States (14) and Spain (11) have more top-130 players at the moment, a reflection of the strides taken by several Australian men in recent months, including Alex de Minaur (No.28), John Millman (36), Jordan Thompson (61) and Alex Bolt (128).