Rafter says there s no bad blood with Tomic
Rafter says there's no bad blood with Tomic

Pat Rafter was an interested onlooker at Melbourne Park on Thursday, but it wasn't Bernard Tomic that grabbed the attention of Australia's Davis Cup captain.

As Australia's eyes fixed on Tomic's match on Rod Laver Arena, Rafter enjoyed the relative anonymity of Show Court 3, watching James Duckworth's match against Blaz Kavcic.

Speaking exclusively to Yahoo7 Sport, Rafter said Tomic wasn't on his radar this week.

But the two-time US Open champion said he was keen to sit down with Tomic and sort out the rift that has divided Australia's Davis Cup team.

And despite their apparent falling out, Rafter insists the pair are on friendly terms.

"I don't think so," Rafter said when asked if there was any bad blood between them.

"But at the end of when he's finished here we still want to sit down and talk about going forward with the Davis Cup for the rest of the year.

"I'd like him just to do his own thing. He's in his own comfort zone at the moment and it's important for him to stay there. This is about him this week, the Aussie Open.

"So I'll let him do his thing. But if we see each other we'll be fine. There's no issues there."

Rafter last month banned Tomic from February's tie with Taiwan because of a perceived attitude problem.

The 20-year-old retaliated by making himself unavailable for Australia's tie in April, a move that has since been slammed by former Australian captains John Fitzgerald and John Newcombe.

Tomic then fanned the flames further last week, saying he didn't expect to hear from Rafter until Australia's possible World Group play-off in September.

Rafter confirmed the pair hadn't spoken since early November, but denied he was avoiding the world No.43.

"I haven't seen him around," he said.

"I've spoken with his father and that's all fine and I certainly need to speak to Bernard once he's finished his duties here. I just haven't seen him walking around the corridors or anything."

Rafter said with the team for the Taiwan tie to be announced on Tuesday, his sole focus in Melbourne was on the players who were available for selection.

"Bernie's not on my radar," Rafter said.

"I do watch his matches from a distance on TV. I've obviously got a big interest in him performing very well. But he's been left out of this first tie and I'm here on Davis Cup duties.

"So I'm looking after the boys who are playing Davis Cup."

Despite Tomic's perceived attitude problem, it's clear Australia need him if they want to end their long exile from the Davis Cup's elite World Group.

Tomic is in the form of his life after a strong pre-season, culminating in his maiden ATP Tour victory in Sydney last week.

"He's playing great," Rafter said.

"He's a good player and he's starting to realise his potential and it's good to watch. I'm looking forward to seeing how he progresses throughout the year because he looks set for a great year."

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