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Melbourne – Australia's Davis Cup captain Pat Rafter stuck by his guns and left Bernard Tomic out of his squad Tuesday despite his promising showing at the Australian Open.
Tomic reached the third round and tested four-time champion Roger Federer in Melbourne but his name was missing when Rafter announced the squad for next month's Asia Oceania Davis Cup tie in Taiwan.
Rafter said he was sticking by his decision, announced earlier, to axe Australia's leading player from the opening Cup tie when he was disciplined last month for a lack of professionalism.
Former Wimbledon and US Open champion Lleyton Hewitt will lead the team also comprising Chris Guccione, Matthew Ebden and Marinko Matosevic.
“The decision's made. You've got to stick by your decisions. In terms of his form and everything, yes, it would be great to have him part of it,” Rafter told a news conference at the Australian Open.
“But we had our issues. The reason we left him out was hopefully to teach him a lesson. I think he came back at us pretty well. I think he used that anger, channelled it and played some great tennis here.”
The 43rd-ranked Tomic, 20, impressed in his two victories at the Australian Open and in his hard-fought straight-sets loss to 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer last weekend.
Rafter also announced that Josh Eagle would take over as coach of the Australian Davis Cup team with veteran Tony Roche stepping down and taking up a mentoring role in the set-up. – Sapa-AFP