Tennis Prose



Hewitt Says He Was Threatened By Tomic

Australian Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt fired back at Bernard Tomic’s charges that he is secretly managing some of the top Aussies he’s been grooming for pro success, such as Alex deMinaur.

After his doubles loss yesterday at the first round of AO with JP Smith, Hewitt dropped some bombshell revelations.

“He won’t play Davis Cup while I have anything to do with it. The threats that I received to me and my family that I’ve had for a year and a half now… I don’t think anyone would reach out to someone like that,” Hewitt told reporters on Thursday night in Melbourne.

“(The threats were) blackmail and physical.”

Earlier this week Tomic accused Hewitt of selecting his Davis Cup team not on merit but on preferential treatment, adding that “No one likes (Hewitt).

“It [preferential treatment allegations] makes me disappointed – that’s the biggest thing – because deep down Bernie knows what I’ve done for him and how much time I’ve spent (with him),” Hewitt said.

“For the first two years I was in this role, Bernie and Nick were my two priorities. And for Bernie to come out and have a go, but more to get all his facts wrong, that’s disappointing.”

Despite projections of an elite ATP career, Tomic has not lived up to high expectations after some early pro success. Despite once even playing doubles together in Miami and coaching Tomic at various pro events, Hewitt has given up on Tomic because of his questionable work ethic and vulnerability to distractions.

“When I was working with Bernie the biggest thing I saw with him is he didn’t work hard enough,” Hewitt said. “He was so far down the line with not training that it was going to take four or five pre-seasons a year for him to even get close to Murray, Djokovic, these guys. And that’s why he has very little chance of going deep in a major.”

Hewitt also denied Tomic’s allegations that he manages some of Australia’s best players and therefore benefits financially from their appearances in Grand Slams.

“I don’t have a management company. No (I’m not getting a percentage of their income),” Hewitt said.

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  • Dan Markowitz · January 17, 2019 at 3:13 pm

    Wow, this is getting ugly. Can’t see this happening when Rafter was coach, but not all Hewitt’s fault.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 17, 2019 at 6:15 pm

    it will be very interesting when Deminaur plays Tomic or Kyrgios but my guess is both would tank the match the round before having to play the Demon, because they don’t have the guts or heart to deal with such a high tension high stress match.

  • Wayne Bradford · January 17, 2019 at 6:17 pm

    I watched this on YouTube and it was bizarre. For anyone else, it doesn’t look like Hewitt is telling the truth, did it? I don’t know if you saw that Kyrgios posted on Instagram about Hewitt watching DeMinaur playing and not him or presumably Tomic or Kokk. Nick then deleted it but it shows that he has no use for Hewitt either.

    As I said before Lleyton isn’t someone with high character with his racist remark when he was losing to Blake. That was one of the worst acts I have seen in terms of questioning an official’s impartiality. As a ref, I will allow some swearing and carrying on, but that would be an automatic ejection if a player or coach claimed I was playing favorites and attacking my integrity. Obviously, it’s not in the tennis rules because it is similar to Serena calling Ramos a liar last year. Those kind of comments should draw automatic suspensions IMO.

    You have to wonder too about the difficult draws given to Tomic and Kyrgios, with neither winning a set against top opponents. Bolt drew Jack Sock. It isn’t hard to believe that Tennis Australia and Hewitt is doing everything possible to make these players look bad. Hewitt gave a classic non-denial denial.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 17, 2019 at 6:50 pm

    Wayne, Hewitt felt he was being cheated and victimized by the black linesman who he suspected was cheating him to help Blake by calling phantom foot faults. Hewitt alerted the chair umpire to this possible corruption on the linesman’s part and it helped to stop the foot fault calls. Was the black linesman caught by Hewitt cheating him with those footfaults or phantom footfaults? Nobody knows. Wayne you cannot declare with any certainty that Hewitt was not being cheated. I applaud Hewitt for standing up for himself against the perceived corruption. He did what he needed to do. And guess what, after he challenged the chair umpire, the footfault calls stopped and Hewitt won the match and the US Open. Pretty easy to connect those dots.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 17, 2019 at 6:53 pm

    I find Tomic to be a pretty smart person and though a bit crazy, I am beginning to wonder if he has inside information on Hewitt and wondering if Hewitt is getting a percentage for managing these certain Aussie players. If Tomic has some evidence or verbal evidence, Hewitt could be in trouble if the charges are true. This situation could blow up. It would be a shame if Hewitt is working so hard with these players and taking a cut he really is not and should not be entitled to.

  • Dan Markowitz · January 17, 2019 at 7:18 pm

    Scoop, everything’s a conspiracy with you. How come no other player in Blake’s long career ever suggested a black linesman was cheating on account he wanted to help Blake win?

    Hewitt was wrong the way he acted and brazenly made the allegation which wasn’t proven to be true or factual. But he was young guy back then and Australia is a very racist country too. I visited there in 1986 and I was amazed at the living conditions of the Aborigines and how little seemed to be done for them. So Hewitt might have reflexively acted that way although other Aussie greats like Rafter and Newcombe, Rosewall and Laver all seemed to be gentleman.

    As far as Hewitt getting a cut of deMinaur’s winnings or any other Aussie player’s, I think that’s fictional. Obviously, he has an interest as Davis Cup coach in bringing along the players who seem to have the most talent and upside and right now that’s the Little Demon and not the lazy and crazy Nick or the lackluster Bernie.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 17, 2019 at 7:48 pm

    Dan, A conspiracy is when two people join forces to do illegal activity. So there is an awful lot of conspiracies in this world of ours. Not saying Blake was in on it, I just think the black linesman lost his neutrality in the match and decided to try to help Blake by cheating Hewitt with those phantom footfault calls. You can’t say with any certainty that that’s false. Hewitt is a fair player and he felt he was being screwed and stood up for himself. It’s the only time in his career he had to do something like this. The aggressive stand Hewitt made probably discouraged anyone from ever trying to call fake footfaults on him again. Hewitt did what he had to do and he got the desired results. He won the match and the title.

    Hewitt is not a racist, and to accuse him of being one is absolutely nonsense. what he did was what he had to do. He pointed out possible cheating and corruption and put an end to it. We will see if Hewitt is taking money from these players like Polmans, Thompson, Demon, etc. Pat Cash is calling for an independent investigation into Tomic’s allegations.

  • Wayne Bradford · January 17, 2019 at 10:17 pm

    This is outrageous that Federer is not on TV! How can this possibly happen?

  • Wayne Bradford · January 17, 2019 at 10:26 pm

    Scoop, what you are saying is the textbook definition of racism. You are saying that Hewitt thought the black linesman was favoring a player because he is black? Have you ever officiated or been in any situation in which your judgment is at stake? I have and that’s the most reprehensible thing you can say about an official. The fact that he referred to race is the icing on the cake. How is that OK in any world?

    We are in agreement in what Hewitt argued and you somehow do not understand the problem with questioning the impartiality of an official. And it’s the same thing Serena did last year when she called the ref a cheat. It is wrong 100 percent and Hewitt should have been disqualified. And it says something about the character of this guy that Australian players are against him. He is a horrible, horrible human being, probably no different than the Gimelstobs of the world.

    Plus you do not understand causation and correlation. The fact is Hewitt won the match because he is a better player than Blake. Probably the dumbest thing a person can say is in your words, “You can’t prove that this is definitely false.” Well you can’t prove that I can’t use my arms as wings and fly, can you? So there you have it, I can use my arms and fly. What you say no human being has ever done that? Well in your words, “You can’t prove that this is definitely false.”

    Disprove that!

  • Jayita · January 17, 2019 at 10:52 pm

    This rift between Hewitt and Tomic – just keeps getting deeper – and it is a sad deflection to what should be a celebrated day within Australia with 3 Aussie men left in the AO show. In the latest turn of events, Bernard has reportedly fired back at Lleyton today claiming “I have never threatened his family.”

    “Nice, Lleyton. To think how low of a person you actually and (it’s) why the Australian public never liked you.”

    “I got nothing to do with your family and I don’t care what’s wrong with you, you liar,” Tomic told the Herald Sun.

    What must be even more troubling for Lleyton is the comments made by Pat Cash earlier in the week. “Maybe Bernie’s got a point, maybe there’s a grain of truth in this, maybe there’s more than a grain of truth. If it is true then it’s a bit worrying, I’ve got to say … if you’re Thanasi Kokkinakis, your ranking was pretty high and you get overlooked by ­somebody who is within the management team, then you would wonder.”

  • Wayne Bradford · January 17, 2019 at 11:29 pm

    A great thread on Reddit discussing Hewitt and his transgressions over the years. Even I was unaware of them. Scroll down in this link.

  • Wayne Bradford · January 17, 2019 at 11:43 pm

    Watch Matt Ebden’s press conference. Ebden who is soft spoken and not controversial even said that the process of announcing the Davis Cup team is disorganized. That’s another strike against Hewitt’s leadership.

    It is clear that Hewitt is trying to become the most powerful person in Australia in tennis yet doesn’t have the intellect or people skills to do so. I believe DeMinaur will eventually turn against him as well. Hewitt is clearly a bad guy and on the verge of a major collapse from grace.

  • Wayne Bradford · January 18, 2019 at 12:43 am

    The real outrage today is that Federer match was not on ESPN from the start. How can that happen? Who is running the network over there? The greatest athlete possibly of all time and you are not on the air for it? I can’t ever remember before a Fed match in a Slam not being on TV. This is absolutely acceptable and I have left a message with ESPN and I suggest you do as well.

    ESPN gave tennis fans the shaft tonight!

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 18, 2019 at 8:24 am

    Wayne, Hewitt rarelye ver gets called with footfaults and that balck linesman keeps calling them was not a coincidence. Why is it racism to suspect the linesman was cheating to help Blake beat Hewitt and to disconcert Hewitt’s focus? it’s not racism, it’s very possible that was what was happening. Hewitt stepped up and put an end to it. In bold, vocal and take charge manner. hewitt showed bold mental fortitude under heavy duress and this decision to question the suspected linesperson may be the decision that earned him his first major title.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 18, 2019 at 8:29 am

    Jayita, what a mess! I believe Tomic could be telling the truth and he may have inside information from some players. People talk. Tomic is no crazy dummy. Neither is Pat Cash. This situation absolutely demands an independent investigation. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Perhaps Hewitt thought he was untouchable. We need to have full disclosure. Kokkinakis was snubbed last year and that one was alarming, I really don’t think Tomic would fabricate such an outrageous and libelous defamation against Hewitt without some foundation of evidence. But we shall see. Why hasn’t Hewitt threatened to sue Tomic for defamation?

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 18, 2019 at 8:42 am

    Hewitt is not a bad guy and has no history of trouble, he’s just an incredibly fierce competitor, still is. But it’s very disturbing that he may be taking a percentage from these players he’s helping. It’s hard to believe Tomic would totally fabricate such a tale. he has to have some basis of evidence from the players, even if it’s just verbal. It’s not inconceivable that Hewitt’s ego would provoke him to make money demands from the players he’s helping. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Hewitt needs to sue Tomic for slander and defamation if Tomic is lying about these accusations. The fact that Hewitt has not threatened Tomic with a defamation lawsuit is curious.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 18, 2019 at 6:51 pm

    The cop and Blake incident was unfortunate, a mistake or just a bully cop who got caught and should be fired or investigated. I heard something about Blake happened to look very similar to a crime suspect in the area that day. But everyone agrees it was an injustice and unfortunate what happened to Blake and the cop either made a mistake or was a bully and should be fired. Enough of this stuff, back to tennis. Looking forward to Osaka vs Hsieh.

  • Jayita · January 18, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    Scoop, that’s a good question. If there is an ounce of truth in what Tomic is saying, it’s very troubling. Of course if Hewitt has been at the receiving end of false claims and defamatory statements- one would think Hewitt would be taking this to court. Either way, Hewitts reputation is suffering a hit. Have a read of this

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 19, 2019 at 8:42 am

    Jayita, Hewitt may indeed be a self serving captain, trying to profit himself on top of his salary, by favoring certain players at the expense of more deserving. Tomic’s allegations must be investigated. Also him still playing doubles comes at the expense of younger players getting that shot on the big stage and the valuable experience that comes with it. Hewitt’s presence actually is a detriment to the progress of these players. he is retired and should not be playing anymore. He should resign the TA and Davis Cup jobs and unretire as a player and resume his doubles career. He clearly wants to keep playing. He’s only 37 and should keep playing. Paes is 45 and lost 1R in doubles and is in the mixed with Stosur. I would not be surprised if Hewitt resigns to avoid the scrutiny of Tomic’s charges. Or he should sue Tomic for defamation if he’s innocent.

  • Wayne Bradford · January 19, 2019 at 8:23 pm

    Looking forward to Tiafoe v. Dimitrov. It’s a big opportunity to lose to Nadal in the next round for both. I think Tiafoe’s game matches up well and he will pull the upset over the perennial disappointing Baby Fed.

    Gonna stay up late for the big one. I think Roger will dispatch the kid fairly easily. Tsitsipas was in awe of him in Perth and Fed now has the mental edge over him. It is similar to how Fed now dominates Kyrgios, who won that first match but has lost 5 or 6 times since including Laver Cup. Fed befriends these youngsters to dominate them, it’s a great tactic.



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