The deeply weird and incredibly bizarre biff between Lleyton Hewitt and the duo of Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios that has been dominating headlines throughout the Australian Open – despite the latter too feebly departing the tournament in the first round – has deepened dramatically thanks to claims from Hewitt that Tomic had previously launched physical threats at Hewitt and his family as well as attempts to blackmail him into selecting Tomic on the Australian Davis Cup team.
The entire debacle exploded following both Kyrgios and Tomic’s respective first-round losses in this year’s Open, both of which were routine straight-sets exits with very little fuss.
Following the games, however, the duo used their post-match media conferences to pour gasoline all over the mound of Australian men’s tennis and light it on fire, for reasons that appear about as visible as the fart of a ghost.
Tomic in particular let loose, asserting “no one likes” Hewitt, suggesting his Davis Cup captaincy is compromised by a raft of conflicts of interest, and claiming that Hewitt has given preferential treatment and selection to lower ranked players who are under Hewitt’s managerial wing.
Hewitt, overnight, launched an extraordinary rebuttal that claimed, among other things, that Tomic had repeatedly threatened Hewitt and his family, as well as launched blackmail attempts, over the course of multiple years. Additionally, Hewitt asserted firmly that Tomic would not play Davis Cup again as long as he was in charge.
I think the threats that I’ve 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.
It started because of blackmails to do with wildcards. This was over a year ago. Yeah (they’ve stopped). I don’t think he’s got my number anymore, hopefully.
Blackmail, threats, and physical, yeah.
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.
He won’t play Davis Cup while I have anything to do with it.
Hewitt asserted that he didn’t feel particularly threatened by the threats, and that he felt they were empty. But regardless, that’s an extraordinary accusation to level.
Hewitt was at sea when asked about why Tomic would have acted in such a way, even allegedly, asserting “I don’t know what’s happened – why Bernie is Bernie. I have no idea. It’s probably his upbringing, I’d say, has a big part to do with it.”
The Davis Cup captain confirmed he is still speaking to Kyrgios, and has spoken to him since his initial press conference, and confirmed the door remains open for the 23-year-old to return to the Davis Cup squad at some point in the future. However at present there were “cultural standards” not being met that were preventing any imminent return.
Bloody tennis. Absolute drama central this year, I tell you what.