World No. 174 Max Purcell slammed his Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt, saying that he lacked the cojones to tell him he didn’t receive a wildcard.
The feud between Purcell and Hewitt has been well-documented. However, the pair spent last week together as part of team Australia’s ATP Cup squad.
The 23-year-old beat Russia’s Evgeny Donskoy 6-4 6-2 in an commanding first-round qualifying performance at Melbourne Park. However, his captain failed to tell him that he did not qualify for a wildcard entry, something he took exception to.
Purcell slammed Hewitt for his actions, saying that he didn’t appreciate his captain not being forthcoming with him.
“I actually was told I’d know on Thursday… (then) I’m hearing whispers in the Australian locker room from Lleyton saying something to ‘Crabby’ (Jaymon Crabb),” he said, as quoted by Fox Sports Australia.
“Then, at like 11pm, I messaged Wally (Masur, Tennis Australia performance director) saying, ‘Mate, I’ve got three hours to pull out of Sydney, otherwise I’ll be stuck playing Sydney instead of qualies – what’s going on?’.
“He’s like, ‘Oh, no, Lleyton was supposed to tell you; I wasn’t supposed to tell you. I told him to tell you considering he was the one who didn’t want you to have it’.
“So, I didn’t end up finding out until 11pm Thursday, because I guess he didn’t have the balls to tell me in person.”
“I’ve been a bit of a smart a*se throughout my junior career… I guess he took it a little too seriously,” he continued.
“I am 176 in the world, so I should be in qualifying, anyway. So, I’m kind of taking it like that.
“Nothing against the boys who got it – hopefully they do really well in the main draw and anything they can do to try and push themselves towards that top 100 would be great, so it can give the next lot of guys some opportunities.
“It would be nice to see some younger guys start getting (them), even younger than me, but no hard feelings,” he concluded.