Lleyton Hewitt accuses Bernard Tomic of ‘blackmail’ and ‘physical threats’ towards him and his family as he reveals details of bitter year-long feud between Australian tennis stars
- Lleyton Hewitt made explosive allegations against tennis bad boy Bernard Tomic
- Claimed Tomic blackmailed and made threats against him and his family
- Says Tomic won’t play for Australia in the Davis Cup again while he’s captain
- Comes after Tomic reopened hostilities between the feuding pair this week
The ongoing saga between tennis champion Lleyton Hewitt and controversial star Bernard Tomic has gone from bad to worse after more explosive allegations.
Hewitt said Tomic won’t represent Australian in the Davis Cup again while he’s in charge as captain and has accused his one-time mentee of blackmail and physical threats.
The two-time grand slam winner made the bombshell allegations in his post-match conference after he and doubles partner John-Patrick Smith crashed out in the first round of the Australian Open on Thursday night.
‘He (Tomic) won’t play Davis Cup while I have anything to do with it,’ Hewitt told reporters.
Australian tennis ‘bad boy’ Bernard Tomic has turned heads after he was spotted puffing on a shisha pipe just days out from the Australian Open
‘For me, it was probably the abuse that I copped from him that in the end I drew a line in the sand and I haven’t spoken to him since.’
Hewitt went as far as calling Tomic a clown and revealed the pair haven’t spoken in 18 months.
‘I think the threats that I’ve received for me and my family that I’ve had for a year and a half now … I don’t think anyone would reach out to a person that speaks like that,’ he said.
‘Since then, I haven’t had anything to do with Bernie.’H
Hewitt and his wife Bec pose with their son Cruz Hewitt ahead of the Newcombe Medal at Crown Entertainment Complex on November 26, 2018 in Melbourne
Tennis champion Lleyton Hewitt went as far as calling Bernard Tomic (pictured) a clown
Once a mentor to Tomic, Hewitt expressed disappointment in their irreparable relationship.
‘For me, the biggest frustration is I feel like I really went out of my way to help Bernie, especially when I first came into the role,’ he said.
‘I’ve spent a lot of time with him one-on-one at a lot of tournaments, tried to get a coaching structure and physical team around him to give him the best opportunity and at the end of the day, he still kept making the wrong mistakes.’
US tennis great John McInroe described Hewitt’s explosive post-match conference as ‘pouring gasoline on the fire’.
‘But I think Lleyton felt it was important that he said his piece and explain his position and why he feels the way he does,’ McInroe told Channel Nine.
‘It’s something that will be discussed and let’s hope we are able to move past that as quickly as possible.’
Hewitt (right) said Tomic (left) won’t represent Australia in the Davis Cup again while he is coach. They are pictured in happier times in 2016
The ongoing feud between the pair reignited on Monday when Tomic claimed Hewitt had split Australia’s playing ranks by promoting Australian talent for his own personal financial gain.
The rift has overshadowed the brilliant Australian Open performances of rising stars Alex de Minaur, Alex Bolt and Alexei Popyrin, who have all progressed to the third round.
‘The most disappointing thing is on day one we had all these great wins by a lot of our guys and all these Bernie comments overshadow it. It’s one clown making a silly comment and that’s the main news,’ Hewitt said.
He has also taken a swipe at Nick Kyrgios, Australia’s other controversial star but hasn’t ruled out considering him for Davis Cup again selection in the future.
‘We feel like we have a responsibility to set a cultural standard and right now Nick’s not meeting those either,’ Hewitt said.
‘The things that we feel like we have to push … all we ask for is commitment to the sport. Go out there and give 100 per cent every time you step on the court.’
Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt (pictured) has opened up on his feud with Bernard Tomic
Lleyton Hewitt (right) revealed he was blackmailed and threatened by Bernard Tomic (left)