Published: Fri, January 18, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Australian Open Lleyton Hewitt reveals threats, blackmail from Bernard Tomic

Australian Open Lleyton Hewitt reveals threats, blackmail from Bernard Tomic

Lleyton Hewitt has made explosive allegations against Bernard Tomic, accusing his former Davis Cup teammate of "blackmail" and "physical" threats towards him and his family.

"The threats I've received for me and my family that I've had for a year and a half now".

But Hewitt said that Tomic wasn't in the picture for Davis Cup selection due to not meeting the "cultural standards" of the team, as well as the threats and blackmail he has received from the 26-year-old over the last year.

Tomic's form wouldn't see him chosen anyway for Australia's Davis Cup first-round tie against Bosnia and Herzegovina in Adelaide in February, but Tomic went a bit further, suggesting Hewitt has a personal interest in players he is promoting.

He added: "Probably the first two years that I was in this role, Bernie and Nick were my two priorities so for Bernie to come out and have a go but more to get all his facts wrong, that's probably the most disappointing thing".

The current friction in Australian men's tennis contrasts with the gentility of past stars like Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall and more recently, the likes of Pat Rafter overruling line calls and giving points to his opponents long before video replays existed.

"Nick and I have had a great relationship ... but standards have to be set".

Asked if there was a rift between him and Hewitt, he said: "Not really". He used to hate Tennis Australia. "I've spoken to Nick about it".

"I look at Alex de Minaur, Bolt, Popyrin, what Millman did at the US Open, there's a lot of good stories too", he said.

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"For me the biggest frustration is I feel like I went out of my way to help Bernie", Hewitt, who won the 2001 US Open and 2002 Wimbledon titles, said. He's playing Davis Cup - I thought he was retired.

"I don't know why Bernie is Bernie, it was probably his upbringing".

Hewitt had been backed into a corner by the world number 88 when he levelled serious accusations of bias and misconduct at the Davis Cup captain after bowing out of the opening grand slam of the year in the first round.

Hewitt, a two-time major victor, said their conflict originated more than a year ago with disagreements over whether he should grant Tomic wildcard invitations for tournaments.

"I spent a lot of time with him at a lot of tournaments and tried to get a coaching structure and physical team around him to give him the best opportunity but at the end of the day he kept making the wrong mistakes".

Our very own Gerard Healy has responded to Nick Kyrgios after the Australian tennis ace told the Sportsday host to "shut his mouth" on social media.

Hewitt flatly denied Tomic's claim that he benefited financially from the players given wild cards for the Australian Open.

"There's one clown making a silly comment and it's making the news". "We have a lot of issues that not a lot of players are happy about".

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