News24

Tomic 'disgraceful': Rafter

2012-09-03 09:15

Sydney - Australian Davis Cup captain Pat Rafter has lashed out at Bernard Tomic's "disgraceful" performance at the US Open, saying the teen star needs to "pull his socks up".

The Australian 19-year-old made a tame second-round exit from the tournament at the hands of the retiring Andy Roddick 6-3, 6-4, 6-0, prompting allegations from John McEnroe that he was not trying in the final set.

Tomic, long touted as the next big thing in Australian tennis, was then involved in an angry exchange with reporters when he was asked to respond to claims that he "tanked".

Rafter condemned Tomic's display.

"I threw out the big D word, disgraceful, to him yesterday," Rafter told Fox Sports on Monday.

"That's just the way it was. He's got to learn.

"There's no use sugar-coating something, he has to do the work, and I'm sick and tired of tip-toeing around it, and I think everyone else is as well.

"He needs to realise that's what he needs to do, and he says he does."

Tomic is no stranger to controversy.

At Wimbledon this year, he was fined after a racquet-smashing end to his surprise first-round loss to Belgian wildcard David Goffin, one which damaged the surface of one of the grass courts.

In January, Tomic was stopped twice by Australian police for what they said were unauthorised trips in his powerful, bright orange BMW M3 on a provisional driving permit.

The uproar resulted in a police stand-off and intervention by local politicians, along with a court appearance for the player.

Rafter warned Tomic he was no certainty for a spot in Australia's Davis Cup team to face Germany at Hamburg from September 14-16 in the World Group playoffs.

"We've got two weeks now of Davis Cup coming up and that's hard work, and hard training, so he has to pull his socks up if he wants to be part of this team, and train hard and work hard," he said.

"It's about hard work now. It's about trying your hardest on the court, and if those goals are not met then you won't be part of this team."

AFP