Davis Cup 2016: Social media storm brews as Nick Kyrgios backhands Bernard Tomic
The rift between Australian tennis bad boys Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios has been amplified by a pointed series of social media messages from Kyrgios, after being accused of faking illness to avoid Davis Cup duty.
Tomic made the original claim while talking with Lleyton Hewitt while Australia's Davis Cup team played the US in Melbourne on Sunday, going down 3-1.
"Bullsh** he's sick," the 23-year-old muttered to Hewitt, with his words picked up by Channel Seven's broadcast.
"Two times. Two times he's faked it. Two times Nick has faked it. Twice. While I'm here, Nick's sitting down in Canberra."
Kyrgios has not verbally responded to Tomic's claims, but he was prolific in a series of tweets damning his erstwhile friend.
One was a mild acknowledgment that, yes, Tomic's criticisms had been in the "heat of the moment".
"Not gonna take it personally, Indian Wells a week away, plenty of time," Kyrgios said in one tweet.
Heat of the moment, not gonna take it personally. Indian wells a week away, plenty of time.— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) March 6, 2016
Another, more ominously, read: "Just don't expect me to have your back anytime soon."
His young teammate, Thanasi Kokkinakis, replied: "cmon bruz" - perceived to be a suggestion Kyrgios ease up on Tomic.
And another Kyrgios tweet, that was quickly deleted, referred to Tomic's infamous record-quick loss to Finland's Jarko Nieminem at the Miami Open, after his premature return from surgery on both hips in 2014.
"Let's not forget who holds the quickest loss on the ATP tour lol #howmanyminutesagain," Kyrgios wrote.
That would be 28 minutes, in case Tomic had forgotten.
Thankfully for the team, Tomic isn't much of a social media user: his last tweet was in 2014.
Australia's next tie, in the world group qualifying round against other first-up losers and winners of the zone groups, will be played in September.
A good thing, perhaps, given that healing will take #howmanyminutesagain?
- Stuff and Brisbane Times