Bernard Tomic of Australia during his match against Dan Evans of Great Britain in round three of the Australian Open.
Bernard Tomic of Australia during his match against Dan Evans of Great Britain in round three of the Australian Open. JULIAN SMITH

'I'm not going to beg guys to play for their country'

BERNARD Tomic's absence from this week's Davis Cup clash has team captain Lleyton Hewitt frustrated and key singles hope Nick Kyrgios disappointed.

Tomic, 24, opted out of this week's tie against the Czech Republic in Melbourne, citing scheduling concerns, though speculation is rife that it was linked to a dispute between his father John and Tennis Australia over funding and wildcard support for Bernard's sister Sara.

Hewitt, who will lead the side this weekend, said he was only keen on players who wanted to wear the green and gold - an experience he "prided” himself on - and he wouldn't be begging those who didn't show that desire.

"In some ways it's disappointing. It's probably more frustrating, I think,” the former world No.1 said.

"I've done a lot of work with (debutant Jordan Thompson) over the last few months and he'd do anything to get out here and play in the green and gold. I couldn't be prouder.

"I want all the boys to be committed to playing Davis Cup. It's a fantastic opportunity - we don't get to come together and play for your country (often). This is the one opportunity that we get each year.

"At the end of the day, I'm not going to beg guys to play for their country. You've got to want to come out here and represent your country, otherwise you're not going to have the results.”

Kyrgios, who returned to Australia from the US on Monday after a quick trip to see girlfriend Ajla Tomljanovic and complete a training block following his shock second-round collapse at the Australian Open, said he hadn't spoken to Tomic but there was "no reason” for his absence.

"I think we've got a great opportunity to win this year. We've got a really good line-up - a lot of depth,” Kyrgios said.

"As Lleyton said, you're not going to beg guys to play, but it's disappointing not having him here.

"There's no reason why he should not be here.”

Kyrgios, who said his troublesome knee was now "feeling good”, admitted after his loss at Melbourne Park that he is in need of a coach.

He said he had "a couple” of people in mind, but whoever it is has to be right for him.

"I've got to 13 in the world without one so hopefully with a coach I can improve my game and go to that next level,” he said.

"It's not so much me being a bad listener. It's just finding someone who I know has my best interests at heart. It's tough to bring someone on the team that's not willing to care about me as a person first and tennis second. I've got to find the right person.”


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