Sport Tennis Bernard Tomic says he’s not fit for Australia

Bernard Tomic says he’s not fit for Australia

Bernard Tomic
Bernard Tomic says he's doing Australia a big favour by not playing David Cup. Photo: Getty
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Tennis Australia insists the Davis Cup door remains open for Bernard Tomic – but the troubled star says he’s doing his country “one big favour” by not playing.

“It’s not like I don’t want to play. It just hasn’t been the best year for me. I haven’t been mentally there,” Tomic told AAP as he attempts to pick up the pieces from a season gone horribly wrong.

The frank admission comes as Nick Kyrgios prepared to take on fellow Aussie John Millman in the first round of the US Open later Wednesday morning.

Tuesday’s opening loss to Gilles Muller at Flushing Meadows will leave Tomic outside the world’s top 140 and in a battle to gain direct entry to ATP and grand slam events, including the Australian Open.

“So, in one sort of way, it’s a lot better for them. They’re in the semi-finals and I’ve obviously been going through a rough patch,” he said.

Australia face Belgium in Brussels from September 15-17 for the chance to host this year’s final and win the trophy for the first time since 2003.

Tomic boycotted the first-round win over the Czech Republic over a family funding dispute with TA and says he was in no state to return for the quarter-final against the USA, in which Nick Kyrgios and Jordan Thompson starred in an impressive 4-1 victory.

“I pulled out of Indian Wells, Miami, Bucharest,” he said.

“So that Davis Cup tie there, I wasn’t ready to go for sure.

“So I did the team one big favour for not being there and they did well and I wish them the best of luck with hard-working boys who have earned their spot.

“I’m not physically there yet to play.”

Tomic says “for sure” he wants to return to the Cup fold in the future and TA’s head of performance Wally Masur said Australia’s former spearhead is “of course, absolutely” still in the picture.

Masur says ultimately any call on Tomic will come down to Lleyton Hewitt but dismissed talk of a rift between Tomic and the captain.

“They (communicate through) ‘WhatsApp’ and what-not. They spoke at Wimbledon. They sat down and had a chat. Bernie’s there,” Masur said.
“Bernie’s 143 in the world, but we know he’s a lot better than that.

“So let’s say Bernie gets back on track, gets himself back up to 35 in the world in a year’s time. It’s quite possible if he wants to and he does the work.”

If he doesn’t, Masur believes Australia will still be in a strong position over the next decade to challenge for Davis Cup glory with Thanasi Kokkinakis and John Millman on the comeback from injury and young guns Alex Di Minaur, Arki Santalan and French Open junior champion Alexei Popyrin emerging.

“Lleyton may have a headache, but the great thing is there’s healthy competition,” Masur said. “It’s what we want; five or six guys pushing for spots.”


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