Set small text size
Set the default text size
Set large text size
Nick Kyrgios has taken a swipe at Lleyton Hewitt only a day after denying there was a rift between the Australian Davis Cup captain and players.
Nick Kyrgios appears to have burnt his Davis Cup bridges by having a second dig at Australian captain Lleyton Hewitt.
Kyrgios declined to back Bernard Tomic’s inflammatory criticism of Hewitt during the Australian Open but the firebrand lit up social media with his own attack on Wednesday night.
Kyrgios posted a screenshot on Instagram of Hewitt doing television sideline commentary from Alex de Minaur’s players’ box during his epic second-round win over Swiss qualifier Henri Laaksonen.
Kyrgios posted a poll to his followers, asking whose match Hewitt was watching.
He provided two options: “Demon” and “No one else”.
Australian No.2 John Millman and No.3 Matt Ebden were playing second-round matches at the same time as de Minaur.
Hewitt has been mentoring de Minaur alongside the teenager’s Spanish coach Adolfo Gutierrez.
Kyrgios removed the post not long after it appeared but it added weight to Tomic’s comments that there was a rift in the Davis Cup camp.
That post followed one by Kyrgios earlier this month on Twitter when he was asked why Hewitt didn’t watch he or Thanasi Kokkinakis play during the Brisbane International.
“He has what some call abandon us (sic),’’ Kyrgios responded in a tweet he later deleted and claimed he was joking.
Now Australia’s fourth-ranked player, regardless of the comments, Kyrgios is unlikely to be needed for Australia’s Davis Cup qualifier next month against Bosnia and Herzegovina in Adelaide.
Millman said his experience playing Davis Cup under Hewitt had only been positive and felt the captain’s player selections had been justified.
“I’ve always felt actually quite well-supported by the captain, by the coach, by the support staff,” Millman said after his Open defeat to Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut.
But he also said he’d like to have Kyrgios and Tomic back in the fold.
Millman described Tomic as a “larrikin” and Kyrgios as a “top bloke”.
“I think sometimes we go a bit hard on him when you don’t see what he’s doing off the court,” Millman said of Kyrgios.
“He has his own charity and that’s more than me.
“I think sometimes we forget about those things when we’re just having a go at performances.”
Millman said any personality clashes were put aside once the Australian team got together.
“When we get in camp, it’s just all about getting the win.”