Australia offer Davis Cup olive branch to Tomic
MELBOURNE – Australian tennis officials want to clear the air with Bernard Tomic and reinstate the country’s estranged number one into the Davis Cup team for the semi-final against Britain.
The controversial world number 29 was booted off the team before the quarter-final win over Kazakhstan on Sunday for publicly criticising Tennis Australia (TA) officials in an extraordinary tirade at Wimbledon.
Tomic was arrested in Miami last week after holding a noisy party at a penthouse suite in his hotel and the 22-year-old later said he was still “in a fight” with TA and had no intention of making peace.
However, TA president Steve Healy said the governing body hoped to contact him soon to hammer out their issues.
“We want to offer Bernard the opportunity to raise the issues he has raised, so we can address those with him,” Healy told local media in Canberra on Tuesday.
“We think (Tomic’s) criticisms are unjustified — he needs to hear that. He needs to get some detail, and we want to bring him back into the fold.
“I think the important thing to understand is he’s had fantastic support from Tennis Australia and we want him to understand and appreciate that and then welcome him back into Davis Cup.”
Australia rallied to win their quarter-final 3-2 on Sunday, setting up a last four encounter away to Britain at a yet-to-be confirmed venue on Sept. 18-20 as the 28-time winners seek to lift the trophy for the first time since 2003.
TA’s high performance chief Pat Rafter announced last month that funding would be cut to Tomic and his sister Sara, who plays mostly second-tier events on the ITF circuit, in part because of their father John Tomic’s uncooperative attitude.
Bernard Tomic responded by accusing TA of neglecting he and his sister’s development during his Wimbledon rant.
Relations plumbed a new depth last week when TA said Tomic was playing a “Hall of Shame” event in a media release, rather than the Hall of Fame championships in Newport.
The governing body quickly apologised for what it said was a “clerical error” but the Tomic family threatened to sue.
Tomic is in Bogota, Colombia preparing to defend his Claro Open title.
Healy also said TA would invite applicants for the captaincy of the Davis Cup team after previously anointing Lleyton Hewitt for the role.
The retiring Hewitt was to take over after playing his last tournament at the Australian Open in January.
Wally Masur has been the team’s interim coach since Rafter quit earlier this year to take the high performance role.
“We want to give everyone a chance to not only apply, but tell us their vision for Davis Cup,” Healy said.
“But Lleyton’s a pretty fantastic candidate.” – Reuters