Tomic can’t pick and choose: Rafter

By Robert Grant,

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    Australia’s Davis Cup captain Pat Rafter has made it clear that Bernard Tomic will not be allowed to pick when he wants to be part of the team.

    Tomic, the Australian No.1, was suspended from the group which wrapped up a 5-0 Asia/Oceania zonal tie over Taiwan on Sunday.

    He said last month he planned to rule himself out of the next round, which will be against Uzbekistan in April for a chance at the World Group play-offs.

    Leyton Hewitt, Matt Ebden, Chris Guccione and Marinko Matosevic combined to whip Taiwan in Kaohsiung, romping through the tie without losing a set.

    Rafter said after victory was completed on Sunday that he would talk to Tomic after next month’s Miami ATP event.

    But he was adamant he would not abandon players who had helped Australia in the early rounds, simply to accommodate Tomic.

    Rafter said Tomic would be eligible to play in the next tie “if he adheres to the rules which we have put in place.”

    “It’s not the Davis Cup for Bernard Tomic, it’s the Davis Cup for Australians,” Rafter told AAP by telephone from Korea.

    “If he wants to be a part of it he can but, if not, he won’t. You don’t get to pick and choose when you play.

    “The boys will have worked too hard, if we do get to the world play-offs – and if he’s not part of it – those guys who have busted their arses are going to be part of the team that has a go.”

    Rafter said he would assess Tomic’s form at the Miami tournament and talk to him about the coming Cup tie.

    Australia scored a whitewash win over Taiwan when Matosevic and Ebden both won their reverse singles matches in Kaohsiung on Sunday.

    Matosevic defeated Ti Chen 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 while Ebden scored his second singles victory of the tie when he crushed Tsung-Hua Yang 6-1 6-2.

    Australia clinched the match on Saturday when Hewitt and Guccione took out the doubles for an unbeatable 3-0 lead.

    Rafter said the tie against Uzbekistan would be tough from the day the team lands in Tashkent.

    “Apparently in 2006 they played in one town called Namangan which appears to be a pretty rough town and very difficult to get to,” he said.

    “Everyone was getting sick and all sorts of things so it appears they are going to make it as difficult as they can for us.

    “I presume they’ll put us on indoor clay … they’re a tough team and one of the worst draws you could draw from the Asian group.

    “But we still like to think we’re going to go in there with a better than 50 per cent chance of winning it,” Rafter said.

    © AAP 2018

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