MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Nick Kyrgios has ripped apart the veneer of friendship between he and fellow Australian Bernard Tomic, saying his erstwhile Davis Cup team mate has “lost his way” and “doesn’t make sense”.
Kyrgios will lead Australia’s charge at the Davis Cup semi-final against Belgium which starts later on Friday in Brussels but Tomic has been omitted after missing a string of tournaments that have seen his ranking plummet to 146.
The duo have described each other as friends and allies in the past, and occasionally defended each other against accusations of brattish behavior on and off the court.
But Kyrgios distanced himself from the player who said he was “bored” with tennis at Wimbledon and has since bragged about his earnings despite a lack of commitment to the game.
“You’d also be wrong if you tried to lump me in the same category as Bernard Tomic,” world number 20 Kyrgios wrote in a blog on the website www.playersvoice.com.au.
“Bernie has lost his way. We were pretty good mates when I was younger.
“I obviously didn’t know the tennis tour too well back then and we were guys of similar age, representing the same country, on the road at many of the same tournaments.
“But a lot has changed since then. He needs to figure out what he wants to do.”
Tomic has been a committed Davis Cup servant in the past but skipped the home quarter-final against the United States in April while in the midst of a form slump.
After being knocked out of the U.S. Open first round last month, he told reporters he was “not the smartest guy in the world” and tennis was all he knew.
Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt said this week that Tomic was “a long way off” a recall and has instead opted for world number 185 John Millman to lead off the singles against Belgian number one David Goffin later on Friday.
“I can’t relate to anything (Tomic) says anymore,” said Kyrgios, who will meet Steve Darcis in the second singles match.
“He says one thing and he does the other. And he contradicts himself all the time.
“He says tennis doesn’t make him happy, that he doesn’t really like the game, yet he says the only thing that will really make him happy is winning a grand slam. It doesn’t make sense at all.”
Australia will bid for a place in the final for the first time since their run to the title in 2003.
(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Nick Mulvenney)