KYR­GIOS’ DAVIS CUP THREAT

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - LEO SCHLINK

AUS­TRALIA’S Davis Cup cri­sis has wors­ened amid claims Nick Kyr­gios is threat­en­ing to with­draw from the team in re­tal­i­a­tion for Bernard Tomic’s sack­ing.

News Corp has been told Kyr­gios mes­saged Ten­nis Aus­tralia staff im­me­di­ately af­ter learn­ing Tomic had been stood down from Cup se­lec­tion to say he would not play.

Tomic was dumped from the team to face Kaza­khstan in Dar­win from July 17- 19 af­ter sav­aging TA of­fi­cials in a wide- rang­ing at­tack.

Tomic ac­cused TA of aban­don­ing him af­ter he un­der­went hip surgery last year.

John Tomic told News Corp Bernard was or­dered to apol­o­gise for his at­tack on TA – and was pre­pared to do so.

But af­ter sev­eral hours of meet­ings with TA pres­i­dent Steve Healy, chief ex­ec­u­tive and Davis Cup cap­tain Wally Ma­sur, he was ban­ished.

Tomic left the All Eng­land Club abruptly and soon af­ter Kyr­gios is claimed to have sent text mes­sages to team of­fi­cials say­ing he will not play for Aus­tralia.

John Tomic said TA is “dis­crim­i­nat­ing against a player who wants to play Davis Cup”.

He also in­sisted Bernard had the sup­port of Kyr­gios.

The sit­u­a­tion re­mains at flash­point ahead of Kyr­gios’ fourth- round Wim­ble­don match with French­man Richard Gas­quet.

Kyr­gios could not be con­tacted for com­ment.

Tomic said on Fri­day Kyr­gios would not play un­less he did.

“It’s in­ter­est­ing what’s hap­pened the last week that Nick wasn’t go­ing to play, as well,” Tomic said.

“He said ‘ If you don’t play, I don’t play’.”

Tomic’s at­tack on TA di­rec­tor of per­for­mance Pat Rafter, Ti­ley and Healy trig­gered the split.

He ac­cused the trio of mis­man­age­ment, ne­glect and bias af­ter the fam­ily’s long- run­ning feud over fund­ing for Sara Tomic.

“His be­hav­iour was unac- cept­able,” Healy re­sponded.

“Play­ing for our coun­try is an ab­so­lute priv­i­lege, and with that priv­i­lege comes an obli­ga­tion to be­have ap­pro­pri­ately. He didn’t.

“The al­le­ga­tions are mis­in­formed and un­true and he pub­licly de­rided some out­stand­ing peo­ple.

“We are try­ing to build a strong cul­ture un­der­pinned by a phi­los­o­phy of op­por­tu­nity, not en­ti­tle­ment. This be­hav­iour is just not on.

“Hope­fully he will learn from this. Our en­tire ten­nis com­mu­nity is com­mit­ted to work­ing hard to help all our play­ers, in­clud­ing Bernard, be the best ten­nis play­ers, and the best peo­ple, they can be.”

Ti­ley de­nied Tomic had been un­fairly treated. “He’s en­joyed great sup­port from the or­gan­i­sa­tion from the age of 11- 12,” Ti­ley said.

“The or­gan­i­sa­tion, through its sup­port and fund­ing, re­ally helped him get to where he is to­day.

“He him­self has got him­self there but we, as an or­gan­i­sa­tion, have been a re­ally key part­ner in all of that.

“Our de­vel­op­men­tal path­way goes to a cer­tain point. He’s now mak­ing a lot of money. He’s en­joy­ing ben­e­fits of con­tracts and he’s an ath­lete that can sup­port him­self.

“It’s a sim­ple de­ci­sion off the back of the com­ments Bernie made last night ... It will re­ally be up to Bernard.”

DOU­BLE TROU­BLE: Nick Kyr­gios and Bernard Tomic may both be miss­ing from Aus­tralia’s Davis Cup squad. Pic­ture: GETTY IM­AGES

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