Bernard Tomic has been stood down from this month’s Davis Cup quarter-final against Kazakhstan for his explosive attack on Tennis Australia officials, including chief executive Craig Tiley.
TA president Steve Healy announced the decision at Wimbledon, saying Tomic’s disrespectful post-match comments following his third-round loss to Novak Djokovic ruled him out of contention.
“His behaviour was unacceptable,” Healy said.
“Playing for our country is an absolute privilege, and with that privilege comes an obligation to behave appropriately. He didn’t.”
Among other things during his 10-minute tirade, Tomic accused the governing body of abandoning him after he underwent double hip surgery last year and that Rafter, TA’s director of player performance, was merely a “mask” for Tiley and had no idea how to control the budget for player funding.
Tomic had previously threatened to boycott the tie, but backflipped and said he would play out of respect for retiring champion Lleyton Hewitt and the prestige of the competition despite claiming to have been abandoned by TA.
But his accusations led TA to condemn his comments and ultimately cut him from the selection pool.
“The allegations are misinformed and untrue and he publicly derided some outstanding people,” Healy said.
“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.”
Healy ruled out legal action being taken against Tomic, while Tiley hoped the 22-year-old would wear the punishment rather than go down a “destructive path” so that he could return to Australia’s Cup fold.
“The sanction of not selecting Bernard in this tie is sufficient,” Healy said.
“He’s a very keen Davis Cup player, a great Davis Cup player. He’s very disappointed not to play. I think that’s sufficient for the time being.”
Ironically, Tomic’s ban eases a selection headache somewhat for Cup captain Wally Masur, who was facing the prospect of trying to squeeze five legitimate players into his four-man team for the grasscourt tie in Darwin from July 17-19.
Now Masur is almost certain to pick Nick Kyrgios, Sam Groth, Thanasi Kokkinakis and veteran Hewitt.