Bernard Tomic has taken a swipe at Lleyton Hewitt but says his priority is to return to tennis, prove people wrong and play for Australia again.
On Tuesday, Davis Cup captain Hewitt said he doubted Tomic would represent his country again after the former world number 17 said Australia could not win without him.
“I don’t care what Lleyton said. I never lost to him,” Tomic told Network Ten’s The Project.
“The important thing is that there’s a reason why I played Davis Cup for Australia at the youngest age in history and there’s a reason why my record stands that good.
“I stand by my call. They know they can’t win without me and I know they can’t win without me. It’s a tough situation.”
The controversial 25-year-old cut short his reality TV stint on I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here after just three nights, citing depression.
Tomic, ranked 168 after a forgettable year on tour, is confident he can return to the world’s top 20, dismissing suggestions he is mentally fragile.
“No, no, no. I wasn’t like that,” he said.
I got to top 16, 17 in the world, in one of the biggest sports in the world. You can’t get to where I got to if you’re not mentally strong.”
However, he acknowledged a Davis Cup return would be tough, again claiming corruption inside Tennis Australia.
“I’m not happy with that whole situation with Tennis Australia. Until that sort of clears and until a few of the problems come out,” Tomic said.
“We’ve seen it with the FIFA Federation, and stuff, how they were corrupt.
“And I know it’s in there, and I’m yet to address all the issues there, but maybe in the coming future I can speak about it.”
“I would love nothing [more] than coming back to playing Davis Cup but that stuff has to be addressed.
“It’s up to them to fix … but we have a few wrong people in that organisation and I hope that can change and the best players can be playing Davis cup again.”
Tomic vowed to resume tennis training as soon as he returned to Australia, saying he regretted his TV stint and “I only became depressed when I got in” the African jungle.
Sports psychologist says Tomic needs help
A leading sports psychologist said Tomic must seek professional help to turn his life around and had a chance to follow Nick Kyrgios’ road to redemption.
“I think something has happened,” Jeff Bond, who worked with Pat Cash before his 1987 Wimbledon triumph, said.
“Whether it was something that occurred on the show or the criticism he has received from people like Lleyton — it can be the most innocuous thing that will cause someone to turn the corner in their lives.
“Same thing with Kyrgios. Suddenly, he seemed to find a better direction, then received positive reinforcement [from the public] and continued to do it.
“Maybe Bernard will do the same thing.”
But Mr Bond warned Tomic would find himself back in the same dark place if he did not speak to a professional, especially after citing depression on the TV show.
“I am generally concerned when anyone says they are depressed,” he said.
“I hope he seeks out a professional to run his thinking by and get some objective feedback, someone he trusts so he can take advantage of this new approach.”
Readers seeking support and information about depression can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.