Davis Cup review likely in wake of Tomic-Hewitt saga

Former Davis Cup captain and Tennis Australia director Wally Masur believes the reputational damage incurred by Bernard Tomic’s takedown of Lleyton Hewitt is likely to prompt a review into Australia’s Davis Cup set-up.

Australia are expected to name their squad for next month’s tie against Bosnia and Herzegovina in Adelaide and the burning question remains whether Hewitt will name himself in the squad of five.

Conflict: Bernard Tomic (left) and Lleyton HewittCredit:AAP

With Hewitt preparing to play his opening-round doubles match at Melbourne Park on Thursday, the saga has continued to overshadow the tournament.

While Masur stopped short of stating there would be a formal investigation into Tomic’s multi-pronged allegation that Hewitt engaged in preferential treatment of players, he said Tennis Australia wanted the war of words to stop.

“Investigation is a strong word … there are always reviews. Make no mistake, what’s occurred starts to get a bit reputational, some of the claims,’’ Masur said.

“Once it becomes reputational, the company would look at the situation and how do we deal with it and how do we move forward, most certainly.”

It came as a co-owner of the management company that represents Hewitt responded to claims by Tomic that the Davis Cup captain favoured players connected to the company.

Tomic had alleged that Australian players Jordan Thompson, Alex Bolt and Marc Polmans had received preferential treatment because “they’re all under Lleyton’s wing under the management company”.

Bolt, Polmans and Alexei Popyrin were awarded main-draw wildcards while Thanasi Kokkinakis, who beat Roger Federer in Miami last March, was overlooked.

W Sports & Media director Dimitris Parhas, who owns the group that manages Hewitt with fellow Adelaide lawyer Garry Winter, rubbished Tomic’s claims that the former world No. 1 had a ‘‘conflict of interest’’.

We manage Lleyton, he’s got no ownership whatsoever.

“[Hewitt] categorically does not have a stake in our management company,” Parhas said. “It’s owned by myself and Garry Winter. We manage Lleyton, he’s got no ownership whatsoever. With regards to the other players [mentioned by Tomic] we absolutely do not manage those players at all.”

Masur confirmed that Hewitt, as Davis Cup captain, had a role in selecting wildcards for the Australian Open. “Then I consult with tournament directors, the head of participation, Craig Tiley as director of the Australian Open … so it’s quite a consultative process,’’ he said.

“I wouldn’t deflect that the Davis Cup captain has a big say in the wildcards. I have been Davis Cup captain … we had a big say.”

One of the big issues behind the flare-up is Hewitt’s desire to change the culture and create an environment which more reflects his own professionalism.

Former captain Pat Rafter clashed with Tomic and Nick Kyrgios when he attempted to improve the team’s culture.

Wally Masur would like to see Lleyton Hewitt and Bernard Tomic patch things up behind closed doors.Credit:Bryan Charlton

Hewitt and Tomic have had a long history together since Tomic burst onto the professional circuit as a teenager, and their relationship has often been acrimonious.

Masur said while he’d like to set up a meeting between the pair, ultimately it was up to them.

“I don’t like it playing out in public, I don’t think that’s good for us reputationally and I think it deflects from a lot of good stories at the Open,’’ he said.

“As long as Bernie’s playing tennis, the relationship will be ongoing. Now, how we get it to a better point is complicated given everything that’s been said.

“I’ll try to facilitate it but it’s not like I’m bringing together two parties that don’t know each other particularly well. They know each other very well.

“They will organically cross paths and whether it gets to a point where we can facilitate; a ‘where to from here?’ That’s an interesting question but that’s what we’d like to see happen.”

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