Melbourne - Lleyton
Hewitt accused Bernard Tomic of blackmail and physical threats against
him and his family in explosive allegations on Thursday as Australian
tennis plunged to new lows.
The veteran two-time Grand Slam champion said the firebrand player
would never again feature in Davis Cup while he captained the Australian
He called Tomic a "clown" and said he did not want anything to do with him.
"We're trying to set cultural standards for the Davis Cup and
representing Australia. He hasn't really been close to those for in the
last couple of years," Hewitt told reporters.
He was responding to Tomic's claims this week that Hewitt had ruined the national system and "no one likes him any more".
The former world No 1 said Tomic had attempted to blackmail him by
demanding wildcards and threatening to refuse to play Davis Cup, saying
their once-close relationship was over.
"I think the threats that I have received for me and my family, that
I've had for a year-and-a-half now, I don't think anyone would reach out
to a person that speaks like that," he said.
Asked what sort of threats, he replied: "They were blackmail threats and physical."
"For me the biggest frustration is that I feel like I really went out
of my way to help Bernie, especially when I first came into the role
(as Davis Cup captain)," he added.
"At the end of the day he still kept making the same mistakes, For
me, it was probably the abuse that I copped from him that in the end I
drew a line in the sand, and I haven’t spoken to him since.
"It will (continue). He won't play Davis Cup while I have anything to do with it."
The combustible 26-year-old unloaded on Hewitt after being bundled out of the Australian Open at the first hurdle.
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?"
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".
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".