Melbourne, Jan 22(ANI): Australian tennis star Lleyton Hewitt has conceded that 17-year-old Bernard Tomic has moved significantly closer to Davis Cup selection.
Hewitt, Australia's most successful singles player in Davis Cup history, said he was encouraged by the Australian Open performances of several players - including Tomic.
The comment came after 286th-ranked Tomic took world No. 14 Marin Cilic to five gruelling sets in the tournament.
"He's obviously around the mark. I didn't see any of the match. It's hard to explain. Cilic is, yeah, a very good player. I think a little bit when he's expected to win he doesn't quite play as well," The Telegraph quoted Hewitt, as saying.
Hewitt had earlier inflamed a simmering row with Tomic camp at the start of summer, when he said that no player ranked near 300 should think he deserved Australian selection.
The 29-year-old explained his position by saying that when he was a similar age and world ranked in the 20s, he had little hope of being picked behind Pat Rafter, Mark Philippoussis, Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde.
"The comment I always said was, 'Yeah, anyone ranked 300 in the world can't - doesn't matter if it's [Brydan] Klein or [Marinko] Matosevic or whoever it is - they can't expect to be playing Davis Cup. It's not going to be their call. It's going to be [captain John Fitzgerald] Fitzy and [Todd] Woodbridge's call and the selectors as to who they put in," Hewitt said.
"You have no right to say that you'll be playing Davis Cup in that situation. Personally, I feel it was a pretty good tournament for the Australians. In terms of Davis Cup, I'm a little happier with the players coming through," he added. (ANI)