Lleyton Hewitt speaks with Nick Kyrgios during a practice session ahead of the Davis Cup World Group tie between Australia and Czech Republic at Kooyong.
Lleyton Hewitt speaks with Nick Kyrgios during a practice session ahead of the Davis Cup World Group tie between Australia and Czech Republic at Kooyong. Robert Prezioso

Hewitt frustrated by dad's influence on Tomic

TENNIS: Lleyton Hewitt has told Bernard Tomic he will never fulfil his potential while his father remains heavily involved in his career.

Australia's Davis Cup coach admitted Tomic's withdrawal from this week's tie against the Czech Republic had been "really frustrating” - a sentiment expressed by Nick Kyrgios earlier in the week.

Speaking on Triple M Melbourne's Hot Breakfast, Hewitt provided an insight into the influence John Tomic exerted over his son.

"I guess for me this tie has been really frustrating because I feel like I have put a lot of time and effort into Bernie the last year and a half, two years since I've been in this role,” Hewitt said. "Just tried to work on certain areas of his game.

"His father has a massive influence on him. That's probably the tough thing for me because I don't feel like while his father is around and in the picture and involved in his tennis so heavily that he's going to have a chance to fulfill his potential. That's probably frustrating for me when I see it first hand.

"I have told him and I guess that's where it come down to. But there's a lot of stuff that those guys have been through. His father is a very tough person as well on the tour and off the tour and I think the demands of that on Bernie weigh him down in some ways.”

John Tomic watches his daughter Sara Tomic during a girls singles match at the Australian Open
John Tomic watches his daughter Sara Tomic during a girls singles match at the Australian Open JULIAN SMITH

Tomic is currently ranked No. 32 in the world and possesses an impressive 17-4 record in Davis Cup competition. He has been replaced by world No. 65 Jordan Thompson, who will make his Davis Cup debut in a team that includes Sam Groth, John Peers and Kyrgios.

"I haven't really had too much contact with BT at the moment,” Kyrgios said earlier this week.

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

"So 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.”

Hewitt said Australia's Davis Cup team had devised a strategy specifically for Kyrgios to help him recover from his shock second round exit to Andreas Seppi at the Australian Open.

"It was disappointing how Nick lost at the Aussie Open but it was more a mental meltdown than anything out there,” Hewitt told Triple M.

"For about an hour of the match he just lost his way and it was really hard to turn that around. He ended up losing 10-8 in the fifth set and had a match point and could've easily have got through that match and possibly then goes on to make the quarter final of the Australian Open.

"For us, we worked out that the best way forward was him was to try and get away for about a week, just under a week or so. I find with Nick that if he;'s in a happy place mentally and is pretty happy with where he's at, it doesn't take him too long to get his game back together. It was really just trying to freshen up for him.

"He came into the Australian summer with a lot of high expectation and pressure on him as well. He's still learning how to deal with that day in and day out. Sometimes there's no excuses for what happens out there but he's still learning. I still really enjoy working with him. He's been fantastic since he came back. He's really looking forward to this tie.”



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