Dear Bernie and Special K,
When I was young I was taught two simple rules. Number one, the world owes you nothing. Number two, you are responsible for the image you present of yourself.
Simply put, my fellow Australians, it is time for you both to grow up and realise the two above points matter.
The way that both of you have carried yourselves at the most recent Wimbledon is beyond ridiculous. In fact, put simply it is downright disgusting.
Whether it’s been yelling at ballkids (seriously who yells at a kid about a towel not being brought quickly enough), or the disrespect shown to the umpires, we’ve had a gutful.
Australians love their sport. And, more than that, we’re a forgiving bunch. I’m the first to acknowledge that people can change. Lleyton Hewitt, Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke – hell even Jelena Dokic – have all had rocky patches in early part of their careers and have gone on to be much loved stars.
They carried on like pretentious idiots and they got hauled over the coals by the media and by the public – and they deserved to be.
Let me put it in simple terms. Representing Australia – your country – is a privilege, not a right. The sooner you learn that the better.
Now, I understand that tennis is an individualistic game. However, there is a level of nationalism associated with you every single time you walk out on the tennis court. You’ve got to be single-minded and that’s fine. But I draw the line at the events of the last 48 hours.
Bernard, for a long time you’ve had all the talent in the world. You should really be in the top 10 in the world now. You’re not purely because you whinge and moan about not having the support of Tennis Australia.
You want more funding for your younger sister – ranked 651 in the world currently. According to the WTA rankings, there are 27 Australian women ranked higher than Sara. Do they not deserve funding as well? Or, arguably more than your sister?
As for attacking Pat Rafter, one of the most respected individual Australian sportsman in my lifetime, that was just ridiculous. All it proved was that you are a ungracious loser – you chose to let out your steam straight after a tennis lesson from Novak Djokovic.
Nick, there’s so much I could say to you. I’m tempted to not bother because you are seemingly so arrogant that you don’t care what anybody says. More than that, you don’t even love tennis (your own words) so why are you bothering to do it for a full-time gig?
If you want to chase a basketball dream – go and do it, don’t moan to us about it. You’re being paid millions of dollars and living the dream. No one is denying that you have got unbelievable natural ability, that is clear for all to see.
You know, what you’re doing on the tennis court in your behaviour is nothing new. John McEnroe, Andre Agassi, Hewitt and countless others have all gone through it. It’s not needed and it doesn’t add anything to your game. To an extent, they learnt from their mistakes.
But for goodness sake, fix it and fix it fast. My advice would be to look at your mate Thanasi Kokkinakis and the way he conducts himself, the way he is playing doubles with Lleyton, and most of all, his humble, quiet and unassuming nature.
Frankly at the moment I’d be quite happy for Australia to be represented by Hewitt, Kokkinakis, Sam Groth, Matthew Ebden, John Millman, James Duckworth and any others. And that’s just in the men’s competition.
If I had my choice at the moment neither of you would be representing Australia at the Davis Cup. Please, pull your heads in. Learn from your mistakes. Have a teeny tiny bit of humility and graciousness.
A frustrated and sleep deprived Sporting Tragic.