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Tennis | Davis Cup

Bernard Tomic (R) Pat Rafter © Gallo Images

Aus chiefs call on Rafter to resolve Tomic row

Tennis Australia chiefs said on Thursday it was up to Davis Cup captain Pat Rafter to resolve a dispute with troubled young star Bernard Tomic over his availability for the competition.

Rafter last month suspended Tomic from next month's opening Asia/Oceania tie against Taiwan for his unprofessionalism and questionable efforts at times last year.

Over the past week Tomic, 20, has countered by declaring himself unavailable for the second round, due in April, ending a press conference at the Sydney International on Wednesday saying he had spoken with Rafter.

"I spoke to him. I was very clear. I don't think we'll be in contact until September. From there we'll see. That's all I can say," he said without elaborating.

Rafter is employed by Tennis Australia to handle Davis Cup matters and will be left to deal with Tomic.

"It's Pat's call. He's the Davis Cup captain, he handles the Davis Cup team and that's really up to him to handle," Tennis Australia chief executive Steve Wood said on Thursday."

Australia's long-time Davis Cup stalwart Lleyton Hewitt has expressed his concerns over Tomic not making himself available for the April tie, which Australia would play if they beat Taiwan.

"I'd like to have a chat with him (Tomic) obviously at some stage about it more, and just see, because I know Pat, he's pretty frustrated," Hewitt said at the Kooyong exhibition event in Melbourne.

"For one, he wants to have the best possible team he can have, and Bernie's in that, there's no doubt about it, so it's a tough one.

"I personally haven't spoken to Bernie about it, but I feel like the last year-and-half, two years, I'm probably the closest out of anyone with him."

Rafter publicly criticised Tomic's attitude when he performed poorly against Andy Roddick at last year's US Open.

But Tomic has started the new year in strong form ahead of next week's Australian Open.


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