Tennis: Tennis Australia apologises for putting Tomic in 'Hall of Shame'

Bernard Tomic of Australia leaves the court after losing his match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London on July 3, 2015.
Bernard Tomic of Australia leaves the court after losing his match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London on July 3, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

MELBOURNE (REUTERS) - Tennis Australia has apologised for a "clerical error" in a media statement that said estranged local player Bernard Tomic was playing in a "Hall of Shame" event against compatriot John-Patrick Smith.

It said Tomic, who was dumped from Australia's Davis Cup team after a rant against officials, was playing Smith in the "Hall of Shame Tennis Championships", causing a stir on social media networks.

"Tennis Australia sincerely apologises for the typo in the daily results service today," the governing body said in a statement. "This has now been corrected and we wish both Bernard Tomic and JP Smith all the best in the Hall of Fame Championships in Newport," TA said in a statement.

"This unfortunate error has been widely circulated on social media and there is some discussion as to how such a mistake could occur. "We have a very upset staff member who made a simple clerical error. "There was no malicious intent."

TA's relationship with Australia's top-ranked player Tomic has long been frosty but it reached a new low at Wimbledon where the world No. 26 accused officials of lacking respect for him and failing to support him and his sister Sara, who plays mostly lower-tier ITF events.

Tomic also teed off at two-time grand slam champion Pat Rafter, a former Davis Cup captain and now TA's high performance director, describing him as a "good actor" and a TA stooge.

Australia are due to play a Davis Cup quarter-final against Kazakhstan this week but the lead-up has been plagued by in-fighting and further controversy surrounding hot-headed talent Nick Kyrgios.

World No. 29 Kyrgios bowed out of Wimbledon in a hail of criticism for his on-court histrionics, with accusations of poor sportsmanship throughout the tournament and "tanking", or not trying, during his fourth-round match against Frenchman Richard Gasquet.

Rafter added fuel to the fire over the weekend by telling a local newspaper that TA was focusing on developing players the country could be "proud of". He also suggested the rift between TA and Tomic might never heal.

The 20-year-old Kyrgios, who has defended Tomic, 22, and is expected to play the Davis Cup match this weekend, returned serve on Twitter. "Another negative comment out of Rafters mouth. Does this guy ever stop #everyoneisaworkinprogress," he tweeted in a post that was later deleted.