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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

Bernard Tomic 'digging himself a big hole', warns Australia Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt

Once ranked No 17 in the world, Tomic has slumped to No 168 and failed to qualify for the Australian Open this month.

Bernard Tomic during his defeat in the third round of qualifying for the Australian Open. Julian Smith / EPA
Bernard Tomic during his defeat in the third round of qualifying for the Australian Open. Julian Smith / EPA

Australia's Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt is concerned compatriot Bernard Tomic is "digging a big hole for himself that he may never get out of" as controversy continues to court the once promising player.

Tomic made his first big breakthrough when, at the age of 18, he reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals in 2011. The Australian reached a career high ranking of 17 two years ago but has since slumped to No 168 and failed to qualify for the Australian Open earlier this month.

His comments after exiting the qualifying round brought even more criticism and scrutiny.

"I just count money, that's all I do. I count my millions," Tomic said. "You go do what I did. Bye bye."

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It was the latest in a series of remarks and actions that have blighted Tomic's career in recent years, and Hewitt believes it is reaching a stage where it might be too late for Tomic to get back on the right track.

"For me, he's made some mistakes and it'll be a long way back. He's digging a big hole for himself that he may never get out of," the former world No 1 said.

Australia host Germany in the World Group first round of the Davis Cup this weekend in Brisbane, and Hewitt does not expect Tomic to represent his country again.

"It's highly doubtful," Hewitt said. "I don't know. He still wanted to play the Australian Open and tried to qualify and good on him for that.

"But it is pointless if he is playing in quallies and you are not committed to the sport. He's wasting not only his time but also everyone around him.

"With the team camaraderie we have at the moment, it's as good as I've been a part of for a long time. We fully believe the players we have here can go a long way.

"Last year we were close to hosting France in a Davis Cup final and I back these boys to hopefully go one step further this year.

"I think everyone knows he wouldn't help us right now. It's pretty obvious."

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