Australia’s two top-ranked men and controversial duo Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic have been excluded from the six player list of finalists for the Newcombe Medal, Tennis Australia’s annual award for it’s “most outstanding elite tennis player and ambassador for the sport”.
World numner 30 Kyrgios, 20, was Australia’s best performer at grand slam level in 2015 becoming the first teenager since Roger Federer to reach two major quarter finals. He also advanced to the fourth round at Wimbledon and reached to the last eight at Australian Open.
At No. 18 in the world, Tomic, 23, started the year outside the top 70. However, him winning a third career ATP title in Bogota in July seems to have been overshadowed for the Newcombe Medal thanks to other controversial issues.
Kyrgios received a 28 day suspension notice and imposed a fine of $US 25,000 for making offensive comments against Swiss sensation Stan Wawrinka at the Rogers Cup in Montreal in August.
“[Thannasi] Kokkinakis banged your girlfriend, sorry to tell you that mate,” Kyrgios said, referring to his fellow Australian player.
Controversy did not stop here for he was also accused of tanking in his fourth-round loss to Richard Gasquet at Wimbledon.
Tomic was suspended from Australia’s Davis Cup quarter final against Kazakhstan for verbally abusing senior TA officials including Pat Rafter and Craig Tiley at Wimbledon.
Tomic was also arrested and charged with resisting arrest and trespassing in Miami in July and spent 10 hours in lock-up for the same, although the charges were dropped three months later.
Both were considered ineligible for disciplinary reasons by Tennis Australia.
The six nominees for the Newcombe Medal includes multiple former winner Sam Stosur, the much-improved Sam Groth, emerging teenager Thanasi Kokkinakis, veteran Casey Dellacqua, doubles specialist John Peers and wheelchair star Dylan Alcott.
“To be nominated for the Newcombe Medal really caps off what I feel was a real breakthrough year for me,” said Groth, who cracked the top 60 for the first time. “I was really happy with the way 2015 went and although I stopped my season a little early due to injury, being nominated is a great way to close my best season yet.”
The winner will be announced at a glittering function at Crown Palladium in Melbourne on 23 November.