Tomic: the one way I’ll end war with ‘fake Hewitt’
BERNARD Tomic is willing to take part in peace talks to end Australia's tennis civil war, but there's a catch.
On the Gold Coast preparing for US tournaments after the Australian Open, Tomic said he was prepared to thrash out his differences with Lleyton Hewitt.
But not in person.
Responding to Tennis Australia's performance director Wally Masur's suggestions the pair's ugly spat could be resolved across a table, Tomic said: "Yeah, (but) I'm on the Gold Coast."
Asked if he would participate, he said: "Yeah, on Skype."
Masur, who enjoyed a healthy working relationship with Tomic as Davis Cup captain, wants the feud resolved.
"What I want to get away from is the public tennis game between Bernie and Lleyton being played out in the media," Masur said.
"I'd rather those guys got in a room and they sort it out privately ... and I think there's a chance.
"The tournament is in full swing. I wouldn't say it's on both of their agendas at the moment but it would be something I am keen to explore."
Tomic laid bare his contempt for former ally Hewitt after losing to Marin Cilic in the first round of the Australian Open.
Claiming the former world No 1 was divisive and selfish, Tomic intensified his attacks by taunting Hewitt "to come one metre from me if he is a man".
Tomic continues to stand by claims Hewitt has "ruined the system" and marginalise Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis.
"No one likes him anymore," Tomic said after first-round Australian Open loss.
"He's just doing the wrong thing.
"He's playing Davis Cup - I thought he was retired."
Hewitt fended off the tirade, saying it was "Bernie being Bernie and losing and going on and complaining".
Masur pointed to Hewitt and Tomic's previously good relationship.
"And these guys have quite a past," he said.
"Maybe there's a sense of frustration from Lleyton that Bernie hasn't maximised his potential."
Tomic described Hewitt as a "fake person" driven by self-interest.
He claimed Kokkinakis and Kyrgios were unwilling to play under Hewitt in the current environment.
Kokkinakis said he was disappointed to be overlooked for a wildcard in preference to lower-ranked Alex Bolt and Alexei Popyrin - both of whom won their first-round clashes.
Marc Polmans also was preferred to Kokkinakis, who would not comment on Tomic's claims.
Kyrgios was also guarded on his Davis Cup future because of injury and form.
However, he said he was available for selection.
Perth's Matt Ebden said Tomic's bombshell tirade contained elements that needed attention.
"There's clearly some issues that need to be addressed with the players and Tennis Australia, with Davis Cup and the players," he said.
"I'm not going to lie, there's definitely some issues that need to be resolved on both sides."
While Hewitt was strongly supported by John Newcombe, Roger Rasheed, Todd Woodbridge and others, Pat Cash said claims of inappropriate preferential treatment needed to be investigated.