A frustrated Bernard Tomic has warned he will lose respect for Australian team-mate Nick Kyrgios if he recovers to play in a big upcoming ATP Tour event, after delivering a courtside blast against Kyrgios during his Davis Cup loss to American John Isner.
Kyrgios pulled out of Australia’s Davis Cup match up with the United States citing illness – a diagnosis Tomic appeared to question late in the second set of his match against Isner on Sunday.
Tomic was losing a set to love and 5-4 down in the second when television microphones appeared to catch him muttering in frustration during a sit down with team captain Lleyton Hewitt.
“Nick’s sitting down in Canberra. Bullshit he’s sick,” Tomic appeared to say, adding “that’s twice he’s done it”.
Isner took out the match against the apparently distracted Tomic in four sets, winning 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (7/4) to hand the US an unassailable 3-1 lead in the tie ahead of the final singles match between Sam Groth and Jack Sock.
Australia will need to win a World Group play off in September to stay in the top tier of the tournament next year.
In the post-match press conference, Tomic said Kyrgios had told him he was planning to play in Indian Wells, California, this week.
The Australian number one said a similar situation happened last February when Kyrgios withdrew from the Davis Cup against the Czech Republic.
“He didn’t come to Czech [Republic] and had stress fractures and somehow played Indian Wells and felt good,” Tomic told the media.
“Now it’s going to be funny for me to see whether he plays.
“If he plays Indian Wells, then he’s definitely lost a little bit of my respect.”
Tomic said he had played with a wrist injury at Kooyong and questioned the legitimacy of the virus that ruled out Kyrgios if he was able to play so soon afterwards.
“In a situation where it wasn’t Davis Cup, I would have pulled out and not played with the pain I was playing with,” Tomic said.
Hewitt – who came out of retirement to play doubles with John Peers in a loss to Bob and Mike Bryan on Saturday – said he had no doubts that Kyrgios was ill and that he was ruled out by team’s medical staff.
“Nick came down here and gave everything he had to try to be available and there’s no doubt he was sick,” Hewitt said.
He said Tomic’s comments came in the heat of the moment and in frustration about his own injury.