Aussie Tennis Scandal: Hewitt vs Tomic

September 17, 2009 in Tennis by pacejmiller

The 'future' of Australian tennis: Bernard Tomic

The 'future' of Australian tennis: Bernard Tomic

I came across an interesting nugget of news today.  Lleyton Hewitt losing his cool is nothing new, but this time the subject of his fury is 16-year-old junior tennis sensation Bernard Tomic.  For those who don’t know who he is, look here, but in short, he is considered the real deal, the (only) future of Australian tennis.

Reports confirmed that at Wimbledon this year, Hewitt’s camp contacted the Tomic camp (who was playing in the Junior tournament) for a round of practice.  However, not only did the Tomic camp fail to respond, they flat out refused to hit with Hewitt the next day when Tomic showed up for practice.  Apparently, the Tomic camp believed Hewitt was ‘not good enough’ and said as much to their face. 

To make matters worse, when the Hewitt camp approached the camp of Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero, they were told that Tomic was shopping around for a practice partner and actually asked Ferrero if he could hit with Tomic.  In other words, Tomic needed a partner to play with and yet still turned down Hewitt’s invite.

Needless to say, a junior turning down the invite of a leading senior player on tour is a big no no in the tennis world.  It’s like running onto stage during someone’s award acceptance speech, stealing the microphone and pronouncing someone else a more worthy winner. 

The explanation from the Tomic camp wasn’t very convincing.  They denied the comment that Hewitt wasn’t ‘good enough’ and said that it was because Tomic’s upcoming opponent had a different style to Hewitt and it would not be beneficial to practise with him.  If that was the case, then why couldn’t they have just returned the call and told them that rather than ignore the invite and go around behind Hewitt’s back?  That’s just plain rude.  Like calling the President a ‘liar’.


The 'past' of Australian tennis: Lleyton Hewitt

My theory, and it’s just a theory, is that Tomic’s father John simply doesn’t like Hewitt very much.  It was reported that he once said to Davis Cup captain John Fitzgerald that he doesn’t think Hewitt has done enough for his son.  And perhaps he thinks Hewitt is a rude, loud, egotistical redneck who would be a terrible influence on his boy.

That said, Tomic is almost 17 and should have some balls of his own – and not let his father control his every move.  Tomic was actually suspended for a month in March this year for walking off the court in protest during a match.  But the decision to do so was not his – it was his father that ordered him to do so after complaints about the opponent’s continuous foot faults fell on deaf ears.  John Tomic also recently said that Tennis Australia needs to spend more money on Bernard now so he could be like Federer.

You would have thought that with an attitude like that, the two camps would have gotten on just fine.