'You liar': Tomic denies threatening Hewitt as public row continues

Nick Kyrgios declined to back Bernard Tomic's inflammatory criticism during the Australian Open- but then had a dig of his own

Quinn Rooney Nick Kyrgios declined to back Bernard Tomic's inflammatory criticism during the Australian Open- but then had a dig of his own

It came after Tomic sensationally declared both Kokkinakis and Kyrgios recently told him that they do not want to play Davis Cup while Hewitt remains captain.

The former world No 1 said Tomic had attempted to blackmail him by demanding wildcards and threatening to refuse to play Davis Cup, saying their once-close relationship was over.

Hewitt said Tomic wasn't in the picture for Davis Cup selection because he did not meet the "cultural standards" of the team. "Yeah, I don't think he has my number hopefully anymore". "I don't think anyone would reach out to a person that speaks like that".

Hewitt did not go into detail other than to call them "blackmail threats and physical [threats]".

"This was over a year ago", Hewitt said.

In February 2017 Tomic was arrested after an interim return again from the Davis Cup Team, Hewitt criticised at the time, and the great influence of Tomics father John. He still kept making the wrong mistakes.

Speaking on Sportsday, host Healy slammed the wayward stars for "appalling" footwork and said it was a stain on Australian tennis they aren't higher ranked than they are. And, to make matters worse, few decent results from the senior players.

Hewitt refused to buy into a question that Australian tennis was "fundamentally broken", pointing to the success stories at the Open, including Alexei Popyrin and Alex Bolt who earlier Thursday advanced to the third round.

Other than that, it has not been pretty. He's playing all these matches and stuff like this. Tomic has not played for his country in the competition since 2016. "Polmans, Bolty, Jordan Thompson", Tomic said Monday. "We have a lot of issues that not a lot of players are happy about".

Thanasi Kokkinakis, one high-profile player who wasn't granted a wildcard, exited in the first round - albeit because of another injury.

Hewitt was at sea when asked about why Tomic would have acted in such a way, even allegedly, asserting "I don't know what's happened - why Bernie is Bernie".

Hewitt said he was disappointed by Tomic's most recent comments.

Kyrgios removed the post not long after it appeared during de Minaur's second-round match. "Demon, no one else", Kyrgios wrote as Hewitt watched the teenager's clash from the stands while providing special comments for Channel 9.

"The only reason I played in Austria is because we had a lot of guys unavailable".

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