Australia Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt says threatened by Bernard Tomic

While Hewitt has given up hope on Tomic - who he said would take about five years to get into the shape required to compete with the world's best - he offered Nick Kyrgios a glimmer of hope of getting back into the Davis Cup team, although he confessed he was falling short of the "cultural standards" he required.

It came after Tomic sensationally declared both Kokkinakis and Kyrgios recently told him that they do not want to play Davis Cup while Hewitt remains captain.

On Tuesday, Tomic admitted he had promised to knock Hewitt out, but he denies targetting the former world number one's family.

During his post-match conference following his doubles loss in the first round of the Australian Open Thursday night, Hewitt addressed the rift between himself and his one-time mentee, claiming Tomic had threatened him. Hewitt also said Tomic will "never" play Davis Cup again.

"I haven't spoken to him for more than a year due to the abuse me and my family have received from Bernie", Hewitt said.

Hewitt went on to describe Tomic as "a clown" and lamented the amount of time he had spent trying to help the 26-year-old.

"It's all Lleyton. I'm going to say it honestly, no-one likes him anymore", Tomic told reporters.

"I have never threatened his family", Tomic said.

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"I got nothing to do with your family and I don't care what's wrong with you, you liar".

Asked what sort of threats, he replied: "They were blackmail threats and physical". He still kept making the wrong mistakes. "In the end I drew a line in the sand".

Hewitt won the U.S. Open in 2001, Wimbledon in 2002 and helped Australia win Davis Cup titles in 1999 and 2003.

"For me, it was the abuse I copped from him at the end".

Finally, Hewitt said that he doesn't own a "management company" as alleged by Tomic, and said he would "welcome" any investigation into the allegations of preferential treatment.

He rejected the nation that Australian men's tennis was in disarray, saying it's disappointing that the performances of de Minaur, Popyrin, Bolt and Millman were overshadowed by all the attention on Tomic's comments.

"The only reason I played in Austria is because we had a lot of guys unavailable". With Bernie, you know, things have been coming out for a while. I only saw it as a player.

  • Lawrence Cooper