The Sunday Mail
Tennis bad boys Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios have been put on notice by Australia’s Olympic team boss to improve their behaviour if they want to represent their country in Rio.
Chef de mission Kitty Chiller described Tomic’s behaviour at a tournament in Madrid this past week as “appalling”, after he deliberately gave up a match point and said he didn’t care because he has US$10 million.
She says it goes against the values of the Australian Olympic team.
“Every athlete is under the microscope now,” Chiller said yesterday following the Australian Olympic Committee’s AGM. “There’s a few athletes that are on watch and those two names are among them.”
Tomic held the racquet by the strings and did not offer a shot when down match point to Fabio Fognini in Madrid and then asked a journalist who queried the move, “Would you care if you were 23 and worth over US$10 million?”
Chiller was not impressed.
“I think it was appalling behaviour. It goes against every … value that all the Olympians live by, it goes against everything that we’ve been trying to build in this team,” she said. “I would not want to see any of our Olympic team members behave in that way.”
She also said the AOC had been watching the ongoing behaviour of Kyrgios, who has regularly abused umpires, opponents and spectators.
Tennis Australia has until late June to nominate its team for Rio, with world number 21 Kyrgios and number 22 Tomic the country’s highest-ranked players and best chance for a medal.
But Chiller stressed TA can only nominate players of “good standing” within their sport, while the AOC has the final say.
“It’s their responsibility to determine whether it’s appropriate to nominate them,” she said.
“If any athlete from any sport is nominated, we look at everything … including behaviour, including the disrepute clause. We have the ability to take that into consideration whether we proceed to select the nomination or not.”
Tomic’s recent behaviour does not augur well for the Queenslander’s Olympic aspirations.
“Based on the last 48 hours, all I can comment on is that is not behaviour that I would want any team member in a team that I’m responsible for to exhibit,” Chiller said.
She said she has had several conversations with Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley and president Steve Healy, while the AOC’s selection committee met in Sydney on Friday to discuss the behaviour. -AAP.