Bernard Tomic’s career in the Davis Cup looks to be over, after Australian captain Lleyton Hewitt said it was “highly doubtful” the 26-year-old would ever represent his country again.
And Hewitt, who was in a forthright mood ahead of Australia’s World Group clash against Germany in Brisbane this weekend, also said it was “pretty obvious” that Tomic would not improve his team at the moment.
Tomic is currently the headline attraction of Network Ten’s reality program, I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Outta Here, taking a break from the tennis tour in a bid to re-invigorate his interest in the sport.
And after sensationally threatening to expose corruption within Tennis Australia before he entered ‘the jungle’ for the television show, Tomic opened up on his desire to play Davis Cup again – and how much Australia needed him.
“I love Davis Cup to bits. It’s not that I don’t want to play [tennis],” he said on Ten.
“I know the only way for Australia to win the Davis Cup is going to be with me and Nick [Kyrgios] playing.
“I know [it’s a big call]. But they know it too.”
But Hewitt rubbished that suggestion and said Tomic, who has won 17 of 21 Davis Cup matches for Australia, was unlikely to ever wear the green and gold again.
He was first asked about Tomic returning and said: “It’s highly doubtful. With the team camaraderie we have at the moment, it’s as good as I’ve been a part of for a long time.
“He’s made some mistakes. It will be a long way back. He’s digging a big hole for himself that he may never get out of,” Hewitt said.
Asked if Australia could win without Tomic, Hewitt said: “I think everyone would agree he wouldn’t be able to help us right now.”
“We fully believe the players we have here can go a long way. Last year we were bloody close to hosting France in a Davis Cup final, and I back these boys to hopefully go one step further this year.”
Hewitt admitted he wasn’t sure whether Tomic would continue in the sport, saying it was a decision the 25-year-old had to make himself.
“It’s strange. You either want to be a tennis player or you don’t,” he said of Tomic’s TV reality show appearance.
“I don’t know [if he will play again]. He still wanted to play the Australian Open and tried to qualify and good on him for that.
“But it is pointless if he is playing in quallies and you are not committed to the sport.
“He’s wasting not only his time but also everyone around him.”
Tomic failed to qualify for the Australian Open and his ranking has dropped to 168th in the world after a period of near in-activity.
He last played in the main draw of an ATP Tour event in Bratislava in November, where he lost in the second round.
Australia take on Germany in Queensland this week and the visitors will be missing the ill Mischa Zverev.
World No.5 Alexander Zverev will play for the Germans, though, with the winner of the tie to face either Great Britain or Spain in the quarter-finals in April.
– with AAP