Sydney - Pat Rafter stepped down as Tennis Australia's head
of performance on Friday, ending his rocky relationship with the country's two
polarising stars Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic.
After two years in the role, Rafter has been replaced by his
deputy and former Davis Cup captain and coach Wally Masur.
Masur will have the task of bringing the Tomic family back
into the fold after relations soured under Rafter.
Tomic made himself unavailable for a Davis Cup tie this
month against the Czech Republic, citing scheduling issues.
Reports said Tomic's father John had a bitter ongoing feud
over his son and daughter Sara involving funding from Tennis Australia.
Last month at the Australian Open Rafter, a former world
number one and two-time US Open champion, admitted he had little input into the
direction of the country's top two players.
Rafter stepped down as Davis Cup captain in early 2015
following a turbulent time dealing with Tomic, while Kyrgios once tweeted:"Another negative comment out of Rafters mouth. Does this guy ever stop
Rafter said recently that he preferred to leave Tomic and
"I haven't really been speaking to them very much and I
don't really know where they're at," Rafter said.
"I just sit back and watch from a distance. I don't
really have a lot to offer them.
"If they ever want to talk to me, I'm happy to
Kyrgios and Tomic have frequently fallen foul of tennis
authorities and have a love-hate relationship with the public.
Kyrgios, 21, was fined for swearing and throwing his racquet
in a spectacular meltdown at last month's Australian Open, when he threw away a
two-set lead to bow out in the second round against Andreas Seppi.
Tomic, 24, has also been plagued by controversy, making
headlines last year when he turned his racquet the wrong way to face a match
point against Fabio Fognini in Madrid.
Masur said he was already in regular contact with John Tomic
and confirmed that Sara Tomic had been offered funding under a restructuring by
TA late last year.
"They've got to hit certain benchmarks to get X amount
of funding but I feel like that's a positive because we're not saying, it's our
way or the highway," Masur said.
Rafter said his time as the Davis Cup captain and TA
performance director had been an "eye-opener".
"The time is right for me, I came in to Davis Cup and
then in this role because I wanted to make a difference and I feel we have
taken some major strides," he said on Friday.
"This journey for me - through the Davis Cup years and
now as performance director - has been an eye-opener to say the least.
"The restructuring process that we went through in
September last year was intense for everyone."