• Tennis

Bedene to appeal Davis Cup block after Great Britain switch

ESPN staff
March 27, 2015
Aljaz Bedene has enjoyed a fine start to his 2015 season and will soon be installed at the British No.2 © Getty Images

Aljaz Bedene will soon join Andy Murray as Great Britain's second ATP top 100 player after being granted a UK passport - but has a fight on his hands if he hopes to play Davis Cup for his adopted country.

The Slovenian 25-year-old, a UK resident since he was 18, will be eligible to play under the British flag once his passport details have been updated with the International Tennis Federation and ATP.

But any plans the world No.83 had of playing for Great Britain in Davis Cup or at the Olympics are currently blocked by an ITF rule introduced in 2015 preventing players from representing a second nation.

Bedene was a member of Slovenia's Davis Cup team until 2012, playing three dead rubbers, but plans to appeal the ITF ruling on the grounds that his passport application was submitted prior to the rule change.

British Tennis provided legal support for Bedene's application and he has worked with members of the national governing body's coaches and support staff over the past seven years, but his switch has already been questioned in some quarters.

When news of Bedene's application and intentions to play Davis Cup for Great Britain were revealed in May 2014, Davis Cup player Dan Evans tweeted: "So a guy is becoming British who has already played for his country. Doesn't quite sound right to me!"

Evans, Britain's No.3 at the time, is now ranked outside the world's top 500 while Bedene is approaching his career-high ranking of No.71 after reaching his first ATP final in Chennai in January and winning the Texas Challenger in March.

He will be installed as the British No.2 behind Murray, ahead of James Ward (No.111), Kyle Edmund (No.144) and Liam Broady (No.184).

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