Former world number one Pat Rafter says the rift with outspoken young star Bernard Tomic remains deep and possibly irreconcilable after Tomic's outburst at the sport's national governing body last week, a report said Sunday. (Tomic Dumped From Davis Cup Squad)
Tomic created headlines in Australia and was dumped from Australia's Davis Cup team after he lashed out at Tennis Australia (TA) and Rafter at a post-match news conference at Wimbledon.
During a lengthy rant the 22-year-old accused TA of penny-pinching and claimed he had been charged for practising on their courts, while also insulting former Davis Cup captain Rafter, one of Australia's sports icons.
Tomic was dropped from Australia's team for this week's Davis Cup tie against Kazakhstan in Darwin for what TA described as his "disparaging and disrespectful comments". (Hewitt Hungry To Mentor Australia's Next Generation)
Rafter told Brisbane's Sunday Mail newspaper TA had withdrawn support for Tomic "until there is some reconciliation going on".
He said he hoped the feud was not irreconcilable and was happy to sit down with Tomic to talk things out, "but that may never happen."
"I'd like to think that people can change. I've got to stay true to what I believe in."
Rafter, a two-time US Open champion and now TA's director of performance, said the national tennis body's focus was developing players "we can be proud of".
"It's about opportunity, not entitlement," said Rafter, a former Australian of the Year.
"It's a principle I believe in and feel really passionate about. The philosophy has always been in place within Tennis Australia, but when I came in there, I made it quite clear and quite strong."
Fellow young Australian star Nick Kyrgios later came out in defence of Tomic, accusing Rafter of being negative.
Kyrgios took to social media to voice his disappointment over Rafter's comments.
"Another negative comment out of Rafters mouth," Kyrgios tweeted. "Does this guy ever stop? #everyoneisaworkinprogress."
The tweet has since been deleted.
Rafter said he wanted to change the culture within Australia's tennis ranks.
"My big philosophy is trying to take away that sense of entitlement and make young players hungry (to succeed)," he said.
"I hope that, in time, the Tomics (Bernard and father John) would see what we're trying to achieve in terms of helping the culture within our sport."