Tomic suspended from Davis Cup for Australia over comments

SYDNEY: Bernard Tomic has been suspended from Australia's home Davis Cup quarterfinal against Kazakhstan for his verbal attack on Tennis Australia officials, including Pat Rafter and chief executive Craig Tiley.

Australian Associated Press reported from Wimbledon on Saturday that Tennis Australia president Steve Healy said Tomic's disrespectful post-match comments following his third-round loss to top-seeded Novak Djokovic on Friday effectively ruled him out of contention.

Healy said Tomic's behavior "was unacceptable ... playing for our country is an absolute privilege, and with that privilege comes an obligation to behave appropriately. He didn't."

Tomic's comments included accusing the governing body of abandoning him after he underwent hip surgery last year, and that former player Rafter, Tennis Australia's director of player performance, had no idea how to control the budget for player funding.

"The allegations are misinformed and untrue and he publicly derided some outstanding people," Healy was quoted as saying. "We are trying to build a strong culture underpinned by a philosophy of opportunity, not entitlement."

Healy ruled out legal action against Tomic, while Tiley hoped the 22-year-old would accept the punishment rather than go down a "destructive path" so that he could return to Australia's Davis Cup team.

"The sanction of not selecting Bernard in this tie is sufficient," Healy said.

Tomic was particularly critical of Rafter, calling him a "mask" for Tiley.

"Pat is a nice guy," Tomic said. "If the Australian public don't know Pat, he's a good actor, he's well-spoken, always prepared and knows what to say. He's prepped by Tennis Australia to know what to say."

The grass-court quarterfinal in Darwin is set for July 17-19. Australia's team will now likely include Lleyton Hewitt, Nick Kyrgios, Sam Groth and Thanasi Kokkinakis.