Bernard Tomic, former world #17 (now #88), has absolutely rinsed Davis Cup captain, former world #1, Lleyton Hewitt, accusing him of unfairly supporting the young players he manages to the detriment of all others, the Nine Wide World of Sports reports.
After losing his Australian Open opener to Marin Cilic, Tomic used his press conference to lay into Hewitt, saying: “It’s all Lleyton. I’m going to say it honestly – no one likes him anymore.
He’s doing the wrong thing. He’s playing Davis Cup – I thought he was retired. He’s playing all these matches and stuff like this. You know what I mean? He used to hate Tennis Australia. It’s weird. And now he loves them. What’s happened here?
If you’ve retired, why are you still in tennis? He still plays these doubles tournaments and stuff… It’s funny, all these guys that got wildcards and stuff are under a system. Bolty [Alex Bolt], [Marc] Polmans – they’re all under his wing, so they get a percentage of that. So it’s conflicts of interest. I think it’s terrible.
Hewitt retired from professional tennis in 2016, before he returned last year to play very middling doubles.
Tomic chewed up Hewitt for deliberately championing players he represents in his capacity as Davis Cup captain, allegedly in order to make more in management fees.
They’re all under Lleyton’s wing, under the management company. So it’s all a conflict of interest: the more they get here and to main draws, the more he takes.
I think it’s wrong. It’s wrong that he’s using the system of Tennis Australia … and then he’s in Davis Cup and he’s doing the wrong thing and everyone’s leaving – even guys, we don’t want to play anymore. I hope he can get moved and we can go back to having a good captain.
He doesn’t put Nick [Kyrgios] first, he doesn’t put [Thanasi] Kokkinakis first. He always thinks of himself. It’s not good. You’re not playing, bro. You’re retired. Wally was a great captain and someone that everyone liked. Don’t worry – Lleyton’s legacy and tennis speaks for itself: [he’s an] unbelievable champion. But what he’s doing now is wrong.
Sam Groth, former world #24, Hewitt’s one-time coach Roger Rasheed, and #19 in the ’90s, Todd Woodbridge, each leapt to Hewitt’s defence and urged Tomic to concentrate on his own game, according to The Daily Tele.
Rasheed appeared on Sky Sports Radio to say:
Regardless of what the situation is I don’t think it’s the right thing to do.
For Bernie I’d love him to just put his head down, get himself in the condition that he needs to be to play tennis at a professional level, day in day out, week in week out, and offer himself to the challenge. But at the moment we don’t see that product.
To then be making the comments that he made, I think you’ve got to be looking after your own backyard.