Lleyton Hewitt looks on during the first round match between Alex de Minaur and Pedro Sousa. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Sports life

Australia’s tennis turmoil defined

Bernard Tomic’s beaming smile as he walked out of his Monday evening push meeting properly summed up the poisonous condition of Australian tennis.

He delighted in the chaos he’d just unleashed. He relished the scrutiny he’d just place on Lleyton Hewitt’s overall performance as Davis Cup captain with his explosive allegations of preferential therapy.

“Have exciting with that fellas,” he explained to reporters as he walked out of the home immediately after dropping his nuclear bomb on Hewitt.

His unprovoked assault displays even when they are out of the highlight, the Tomic-Hewitt romance is a ill, twisted, hateful mess.

That mess has now swallowed fellow Aussie stars Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis.

Here’s how it arrived at breaking level.


3 yrs back Hewitt and Tomic could not have spoken far more glowingly about each and every other and their romance.

As Hewitt produced his final outing at Wimbledon, Tomic honoured the retiring fantastic and forecast the function he could participate in for Australia’s upcoming technology.

“He’s a accurate mentor, not just to me, but to a whole lot of persons all over the planet. He’s adjusted me,” Tomic explained. “If he can be all over us as considerably as he can, it is heading to be large for us the upcoming 10 yrs.”

Hewitt reciprocated. “I’ve created a fairly solid romance with Bernie,” he explained. “I believe I’m almost certainly 1 of the nearer fellas that he trusts now.”

But the Tomic family members started out backing Hewitt in a corner the next calendar year when they fell out with Tennis Australia in excess of funding for Bernard’s young sister Sara, a fringe skilled participant.

Regardless of makes an attempt by Hewitt to conserve the romance, Tomic produced himself unavailable for Davis Cup collection and break up with the administration corporation that also managed Hewitt’s affairs.

Bernard Tomic during his straight sets loss to Marin Cilic. Picture: Michael Klein

Bernard Tomic throughout his straight sets decline to Marin Cilic. Photo: Michael KleinSupply:Information Corp Australia

This time final calendar year Hewitt declared Tomic was “digging a gap for himself that he might not be equipped to get out of”.

It arrived immediately after the wayward star ventured to South Africa for Channel 10’s I’m A Superstar Get Me Out Of Below immediately after failing to qualify for the Australian Open up.

The wire was fundamentally minimize amongst him and the relaxation of Australian tennis — but it is only now we’re viewing the problems it can develop.

As documented by The Herald Sunshine this 7 days, Tennis Australia dropped handle in excess of Tomic when the two camps agreed Tomic would never ever participate in Davis Cup or Olympic tennis for Australia yet again.

Acquiring arrived at a level in which he can obtain almost nothing — neither funding or wildcard boosts — from remaining on talking conditions with Tennis Australia, Tomic is cost-free to converse his thoughts without having anxiety of reprisal — and that is specifically what tends to make him hazardous to Aussie tennis officers.


Because getting in excess of as captain in 2016, Hewitt has confronted the extremely hard job of balancing the growth of young gamers even though supporting the institution of Kyrgios, Tomic and Kokkinakis when officers ended up presently shedding religion in them at the rear of the scenes.

It has demonstrated in Davis Cup tie collection flashpoints. Most notably, a report final 7 days claimed Kokkinakis has been stroppy toward Hewitt considering that he was neglected for decreased-rated participant John Millman for a singles rubber from Belgium in Brussels, 2017.

Hewitt also selected to go with Alex de Minaur and Jordan Thompson for Australia’s most latest Davis Cup tie from Austria in September. Millman was rested for that tie immediately after his operate at the US Open up. Kyrgios produced himself unavailable.

Tomic applied all those prickly collection difficulties to progress his war with Hewitt and Tennis Australia.

“He does not place the gamers very first, from what I have listened to in the previous calendar year,” Tomic explained.

“He does not place the gamers very first. He does not place Nick very first. He does not place Kokkinakis very first. He constantly thinks of himself and it is not fantastic.

“He’s in Davis Cup and he’s undertaking the improper factor and we really don’t want to participate in any more. I hope he can get moved and we can go back again to getting a fantastic captain.”

Hewitt will identify his squad upcoming 7 days for Australia’s scheduled tie from Bosnia and Herzegovina in Adelaide, starting February one.

Lleyton Hewitt looks on during the first round match between Alex de Minaur and Pedro Sousa. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Lleyton Hewitt seems on throughout the very first spherical match amongst Alex de Minaur and Pedro Sousa. (Photograph by Quinn Rooney/Getty Pictures)Supply:Getty Pictures


Tomic acquired tentative assist for his accusation from Hewitt that it is egocentric for the previous Globe No. one to participate in himself in doubles throughout Davis Cup ties.

He also recommended it is egocentric for Hewitt to continue on to take wildcard entries into the doubles attract of occasions, which include this year’s Sydney Intercontinental and Brisbane Intercontinental. He is also actively playing doubles at the Australian Open up this 7 days with fellow Aussie John-Patrick Smith in which they ended up awarded a wildcard.

“Go absent. I believed he’d retired, like, why are you nonetheless in tennis,” Tomic explained. “Why do you nonetheless participate in all these doubles tournaments?”

Hewitt final calendar year performed himself in the doubles in the tie from Austria in September, but Tennis Australia overall performance director Wally Masur has presently publicly supported Hewitt’s final decision to participate in himself simply because Kyrgios, Millman and Kokkinakis ended up all not provided in the squad.


Kokkinakis turned the highlight back again on the controversial wildcard snub he acquired for the Australian Open up when he admitted his abnormal actively playing plan in qualifying was partly to blame for his shoulder injuries flare-up on Tuesday.

Kokkinakis was pressured to retire from his opening spherical match immediately after successful a few matches in qualifying to split into the principal singles attract for the Melbourne Park celebration.

He was controversially neglected for a few gamers rated decreased than him on the ATP Tour rankings.

The wildcards rather went to Alex Bolt, Alex Popyrin, Jason Kubler and Marc Polmans. Kokkinakis’ slipping out with Hewitt was then exposed.

Hewitt’s options ended up relatively justified when Popyrin and Bolt received by way of to the 2nd spherical. Tomic, Kyrgios and Kokkinakis ended up all eradicated in the very first spherical.


Tomic’s most scandalous accusation was Hewitt has been actively playing favourites with his options for his possess earnings.

His wild promises that Hewitt has been selling gamers tied to his possess administration corporation have considering that acquired prevalent condemnation from the Aussie tennis fraternity, but Aussie tennis fantastic Pat Dollars on Tuesday declared on radio that there need to be an unbiased investigation into Tomic’s accusations.

“It’s amusing all these gamers who acquired wildcards beneath our technique, I believe it is fellas like (Alex) Bolt … They are all beneath his wing so he receives a proportion of that,” Tomic explained.

“It’s a conflict of curiosity and I believe which is awful. Am I appropriate or am I improper?

“They’re all beneath his wing, beneath the administration corporation. So it is all a conflict of curiosity. The far more they make right here, the far more he requires. You know what he’s undertaking and I believe it is improper.”

In accordance to stories, none of the gamers stated by Tomic — Bolt, Popyrin, Thompson and Polmans — are represented by Hewitt’s W Sporting activities and Media administration corporation.

The chilly tough info, sad to say, will not be sufficient to douse the flames of this feud any time quickly even though feelings continue on to operate so higher.

All eyes will now be on Hewitt’s Davis Cup options upcoming 7 days — but the announcement appears to be destined to only plunge Australian tennis even more into disaster.

Any individual is heading to skip out. Any individual is heading to be disappointed.

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