Sport

Pat passes over Tomic for Davis Cup to teach him a lesson

Tony Roach (L) and Pat Rafter speak during Australia's Lleyton Hewitt's training session ahead of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 13, 2013.
Tony Roach (L) and Pat Rafter speak during Australia's Lleyton Hewitt's training session ahead of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 13, 2013. AFP Photo / Paul Crock

AUSTRALIAN captain Pat Rafter says he will not be choosing Bernard Tomic for the Davis Cup clash in Taiwan next week despite the youngster's top form at the start of the year.

Rafter, who yesterday announced Josh Eagle as the new coach to replace Tony Roche, said he would be sticking to his guns and not choosing the 20-year-old for the tie to be played from February 1-3 after their much-reported falling out last year, but did not rule him out of future ties.

"No, you've got to stick by your decisions," Rafter said.

"As I said, in terms of his form and everything, yes, it would be great to have him part of it.

"But we had our issues. The reason we left him out was hopefully to teach him a lesson.

"I think he came back at us pretty well. I think he used that anger, channelled it, and played some great tennis here.

"I don't mind how he gets up to playing great tennis. If he wants to use that anger as a catalyst to play great tennis, that's fine. Obviously, it's in our interest to play well. Whatever spurs him on.

Rafter said he spoke with Tomic this week about his future involvement in the Davis Cup and was happy with the way the conversation worked out.

It was the first time the pair had spoken since November and Rafter said: "Obviously I spoke to him about just going forward, what he thinks about Davis Cup in the future, if he wants to be part of the team.

"It was really important for us to have contact straightaway. We hadn't made any contact.

"Obviously he's playing great tennis and it's a shame not to have him available for the first one in some ways, but in other ways we have to stand firm on our decision not to have him in this team.

Bernard Tomic and Pat Rafter.
Bernard Tomic and Pat Rafter. Getty Images Sport - Chris Hyde

Rafter said Tomic made himself available for Australia's next Davis Cup tie in April, providing it beats Taiwan, and he would be considered along with the likes of Lleyton Hewitt, Chris Guccione, Matthew Ebden and Marinko Matosevic, who make up the team for the Taiwan clash.

"Yeah. He didn't jump out of his skin," Rafter said.

"But he was certainly there to say because the proviso I put on to it was obviously we need to work things out.

"He needs to respect me and I need to respect him in that manner.

"If we have a breakdown, then obviously that's not a good thing. But I'll be in contact with him throughout the next few tournaments.

"Again, this is all providing we win our first tie.

"And also, the stipulation was that you're playing well and you show the attitude that you did here at the Australian Open, then you'll be up for selection like all the other guys."

Topics:  bernard tomic, davis cup, pat rafter, taiwan, tennis


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