Melbourne - Firebrand
Bernard Tomic has launched an extraordinary attack on fellow Australian
Lleyton Hewitt, saying "no one likes him any more" while claiming he
has ruined the national tennis system.
The combustible 26-year-old unloaded on the Australian Davis Cup
captain and two-time Grand Slam champion after being bundled out of
Melbourne Park at the first hurdle on Monday.
He alleged there were deep divisions in the Australian men's game.
"It's all Lleyton. I'm going to say it honestly - no one likes him
anymore," said Tomic, who had a car-crash 2018 season and faced a
backlash after boasting that "I just count my millions".
"He's just doing the wrong thing. He's playing Davis Cup - I thought he was retired. You know what I mean?
"He used to hate Tennis Australia. It's weird. And now he loves them. What's happened here?
"But I guess he's using them for other things and resources and ... yep. And it's for his pay cheque, yep."
Tomic, who has long had a fractious relationship with Hewitt and
Tennis Australia, claimed that he and countrymen Thanasi Kokkinakis and
Nick Kyrgios "don't want to play (Davis Cup) any more because he's
ruined the system".
"Go away," he said of Hewitt. "Like, literally. If you've retired, why are you still in tennis?"
Hewitt, 37, has received a wildcard into the Australian
Open doubles and will partner John-Patrick Smith, while reports last
month said he was contemplating playing doubles at the Davis Cup in
February against Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Tomic, who rose to a career-high 17 at his peak, has not played Davis
Cup since 2016 and alleged Hewitt "doesn't put the players first".
"He doesn't put Nick first, he doesn't put Kokkinakis first. He only thinks of himself," he blasted.
Hewitt is yet to respond, but his former coach Roger Rasheed told Sky Sports radio Tomic's comments were "not warranted".
"There are always going to be players that actually love the coach.
There is going to be a few players, if they're not getting a game and
they think they should be getting a game, they'll actually have
different feelings for the coach," he said.
"I think it's just one of those natural playouts as far as teams and coaches go."
Tomic is no stranger to controversy after a series of run-ins with the authorities down the years.
At Wimbledon in 2017, he was fined for claiming he was bored by
tennis and had faked an injury. His racquet sponsor dropped him as a
Last year he even appeared on Australian reality TV show "I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here".