Tomic denies Hewitt allegations, calls him 'liar'

The animosity between Hewitt and Tomic has dominated the front and back pages in Australia all week

Bernard Tomic branded Lleyton Hewitt a liar, denying he has ever threatened the Davis Cup captain's family as Australian tennis' bitter feud escalated on Friday.

"... (It ranged from) blackmail, threats and physical (threats), yeah".

"Nice, Lleyton. To think how low of a person you actually and (it's) why the Australian public never liked you", Tomic told the Herald Sun.

"I got nothing to do with your family and I don't care what's wrong with you, you liar".

Former world No. 17 Tomic also made it clear that he believes Hewitt should be replaced.

Despite Tennis Australia's head of performance Wally Masur telling AAP he hoped the two could somehow resolve their differences, Hewitt said Tomic would never play Davis Cup again on his watch after physically threatening him and his family.

Asked to specify the nature of the blackmail, Hewitt said Tomic had threatened not to play Davis Cup.

The Davis Cup captain confirmed he is still speaking to Kyrgios, and has spoken to him since his initial press conference, and confirmed the door remains open for the 23-year-old to return to the Davis Cup squad at some point in the future.

Tomic split with Hewitt's long-term agent David Drysdale in 2017.

Hewitt says Tomic has fallen short of the 'cultural standards' expected of Australia's tennis players
Hewitt says Tomic has fallen short of the 'cultural standards' expected of Australia's tennis players Credit AFP

Asked to elaborate on the threats, Hewitt said that Tomic had previously threatened to pull out of Davis Cup ties.

"I probably took a lot for granted and I said regretful things in my own life about captains when things didn't go the way I wanted them to go".

The same can't be said of Tomic, who doesn't stand a chance of being selected, according to Hewitt. It started with blackmail over wildcards over a year ago.

"For me the biggest frustration is I feel like I went out of my way to help Bernie, especially when I first came into the role".

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 on Thursday won through to the third round.

Andre Agassi suspects there will only ever be one victor in Australia's Davis Cup war.

Tomic followed his first-round loss at the Australian Open by saying Hewitt was unpopular and should quit as captain. "We have exceptional players doing exceptional things".

Hewitt also categorically refuted Tomic's allegations that he has a management interest in some of Australia's best players and profits from their Grand Slam appearances.

'The most disappointing thing is on Day 1 we had all these great wins by a lot of our guys and all these Bernie comments overshadow it, ' he added.

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