Pat Rafter steps down from Tennis Australia role

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Johannesburg [South Africa], Feb.17 (ANI): Tennis Australia performance director Pat Rafter has stepped down from his role, thus putting an end to his rocky relationship with the country's two controversial players Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic. Rafter, the former World No.1 and a two-time Grand Slam champion, recently hinted that he wants to leave Tomic and Kyrgios alone as he had little input to offer to the country's top tennis stars. "I haven't really been speaking to them very much and I don't really know where they're at. I just sit back and watch from a distance. I don't really have a lot to offer them," Rafter, who has served the role at Tennis Australia (TA) for two years, had said. Rafter will be replaced by his deputy and former Davis Cup captain Wally Masur, an elite player who also has extensive media, coaching and boardroom experience,Sport24 reported. Masur would now face a tough task of bringing the Tomic family back into the fold after relations soured under Rafter. Rafter and Tomic's father John had a bitter feud over his son Bernard and daughter Sara involving funding from the country's tennis governing body. However, Masur revealed that he has been in constant contact with John while confirming that Sara was offered funding under a restructuring by the TA last year. Kyrgios, on the other hand, has also frequently fallen foul of tennis authorities and endured a roller-coster relationship with the spectators. He was slapped with a three-week ban from the ATP Tour for tanking and was later handed a two-month suspension after a bizarre straight-sets loss at the Shanghai Masters in October last year.(ANI)