Australia’s Davis Cup boys Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic need to grow up

The verbal spat between Australia’s top-ranked players, who were friends before this catfight, is not great news for Lleyton Hewitt, who was making his debut as Davis Cup captain, writes Ahmed Rizvi.

It seems Nick Kyrgios and controversy just cannot stay apart.

Ditto for Australia compatriot Bernard Tomic.

Last August, courtside microphones at the Montreal Masters picked up Kyrgios’s disparaging comments about Stan Wawrinka’s girlfriend, and now Austria’s Channel Seven’s cameras have caught Tomic questioning his compatriot over his commitment, or the lack of it, towards Australia’s Davis Cup team and whether he was really injured.

“Two times. Two times he’s faked it,” Tomic muttered to Australia captain Lleyton Hewitt during his four-set loss to United States’ John Isner on Sunday.

“Two times Nick has faked it. Twice. While I’m here, Nick’s sitting down in Canberra.”

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Kyrgios was quick to respond, using Twitter to remind Tomic, who played last weekend despite a wrist injury, about his 28-minute loss to Jarkko Nieminen in 2014, which is the shortest completed match in ATP Tour history.

That tweet was later deleted, but Tomic’s comments were not forgotten.

“Just don’t expect me to have your back any time soon,” Kyrgios later tweeted.

Tomic did not back down either and, talking to the media post-match, he said Kyrgios will lose “a little bit of my respect” if he plays in Indian Wells, which starts next week.

The verbal spat between Australia’s top-ranked players, who were friends before this catfight, is not great news for Hewitt, who was making his debut as Davis Cup captain and was forced to come out of retirement to play the doubles because of Kyrgios’s absence.

Hewitt tried to play down the feud, but Tomic perhaps has good reasons to feel aggrieved given Kyrgios’s recent Davis Cup record.

Last year, Kyrgios pulled out of the Davis Cup tie against the Czech Republic citing a stress fracture, but played at Indian Wells a week later. Australia narrowly defeated the Czechs 3-2 and in the quarter-final against Kazakhstan, Kyrgios was heard moaning, “I don’t want to be here” as he lost to world No 115 Aleksandr Nedovyesov on the first day’s play in Darwin, and was later dropped for the reverse singles. Again they scraped through 3-2.

Kyrgios was then omitted from the Australian team for the semi-final against Great Britain due to the furore surrounding his Wawrinka sledge in Montreal.

So Kyrgios certainly has some making up to do, as far as his Davis Cup commitment is concerned.

More importantly, both he and Tomic have some growing up to do, but if you believe the Australia fans, that could be asking too much.

arizvi@thenational.ae

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