Tomic re­jects peace

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - LEO SCHLINK

BERNARD Tomic has re­jected Ten­nis Aus­tralia’s in­vi­ta­tion to bro­ker peace talks, widen­ing a rift un­likely to heal be­fore Septem­ber’s Davis Cup semi- fi­nal.

Re­spond­ing to TA pres­i­dent Steve Healy’s of­fer to dis­cuss the fund­ing is­sues he raised at Wim­ble­don, Tomic said there was no point.

“Un­til I am sat­is­fied TA is com­mit­ted to fund­ing the de­vel­op­ment of ju­nior Aus­tralian tal­ent, in­clud­ing my sis­ter Sara, on a non- dis­crim­i­na­tory ba­sis, I do not be­lieve there is any point in meet­ing with TA,” he said.

“It has been re­ported that Mr Steve Healy, pres­i­dent of Ten­nis Aus­tralia, would like to reach out to me with a view to re­solv­ing some is­sues that I have with this or­gan­i­sa­tion,” Tomic said from Colom­bia.

“I would like to re­spond to those re­ports as fol­lows.

“I am al­ways ready, will­ing and able to play for Aus­tralia.

“It is my hon­our and priv­i­lege to do so. I con­sider that I have a good record and it is my hope to con­tinue to rep­re­sent my coun­try. Im­por­tantly, I would like to thank pre­vi­ous TA ad­min­is­tra­tors for their fi­nan­cial sup­port in the past.

“Cur­rent TA ad­min­is­tra­tors sacked me from the Davis Cup for com­ments I made at Wim­ble­don. I stand by those com­ments.”

Tomic, who was last week charged with re­sist­ing ar­rest with­out vi­o­lence and tres­pass­ing af­ter an in­ci­dent at a Mi­ami ho­tel, missed Aus­tralia’s 3- 2 quar­ter- fi­nal win in Dar­win af­ter be­ing sacked for crit­i­cis­ing TA’s fund­ing pol­icy.

De­spite a public out­cry, he said he would not be si­lenced.

“In the mean­time, I re­serve the right to con­tinue to speak my mind,’’ he said.

“My right to free­dom of speech can­not be taken from me. Hav­ing said the above, I am al­ways avail­able for se­lec­tion for Davis Cup.

“If TA se­lect me, then great. If TA does not se­lect me, then there’s not too much I can do.

“I will stick by my views. To my fans and sup­port­ers, please do not lose faith in me. Con­trary to some self- serv­ing re­ports, I am OK and strong.”

Healy in­di­cated TA wanted to re­solve the im­passe.

“We want to of­fer Bernard the op­por­tu­nity to raise the is­sues he has raised so we can ad­dress those with him,” Healy said.

“We think the crit­i­cisms are un­jus­ti­fied. He needs to hear that.” Sara Tomic, 17, is ranked 641 in the world. Last week, she beat world No. 111 Kristyna Pliskova in the Tur­key Cup in Is­tan­bul.

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