Aussie young gun Bernard Tomic is officially back in the Davis Cup team after question marks were raised over his commitment to the national set-up. The 20-year-old has been recalled to the squad to face Uzbekistan in the Asia/Oceania second round tie early next month.
The news comes after Tomic had originally made himself unavailable for the tie, following a falling out with Davis Cup Captain Pat Rafter. Rafter had stood Tomic down from the Australian team that beat Chinese Taipei in the first round for disciplinary reasons, citing a lack of professionalism from the young Queenslander.
However in a welcome boost, the pair have seemingly mended their differences as Australia continues its bid to re-enter the Davis Cup World Group. One would think Australia’s topped ranked singles player would be an automatic selection for the singles rubbers given his strong record of winning eight of the ten matches he’s contested.
The decision to revoke his self-imposed exile is a smart move from Tomic as he was never going to gain any support from the public by coming up against a champion who was recently named Australia’s favourite athlete in a report by Sweeney Sports and Entertainment.
Of course the world-number-45 will still need to put the performances on the board if Australia is to be successful in its bid to move from the second-tier of the international tennis competition.
Despite putting in some strong performances on home soil early in the year, which saw Tomic account for world-number-one Novak Djokovic at the Hopman Cup and win his first ATP title at the Sydney International, his form has dipped of late.
Last weekend he bowed out of the Miami Masters with a second-round loss to world-number-two Andy Murray. This in itself was no disgrace but the nature of the 6-3 6-1 defeat, in which he only won 10 points in the second-set evoked memories of the “tanking” accusations leveled at Tomic by American great John McEnroe at last year’s US Open.
Tomic blamed his performance on illness, so we can only hope he will be back to his best come early April. The other Aussies named in the team are Lleyton Hewitt, Marinko Matosevic and Matt Ebden.
According to Captain Pat Rafter, “We have a team which is very motivated to go into an extremely tough away tie and try and win our way to a world group playoff. The boys are training hard and they have shown some good form in the lead up, so I am expecting some big things from them.”
The team is training in Munich before heading to the regional city of Namangan, Uzbekistan. Play gets under way on April 5th and you can be sure we’ll be screening all the action and cheering the Aussies on at Strathfield Sports Club.