Aljaz Bedene switches allegiance back to Slovenia after short spell as British player

Samuel Lovett
The Independent
Aljaz Bedene has been unable to represent Great Britain in the Olympics or the Davis Cup: Getty
Aljaz Bedene has been unable to represent Great Britain in the Olympics or the Davis Cup: Getty

Aljaz Bedene is to switch his allegiance back to Slovenia after two-and-a-half seasons competing as a British player.

The world No 49 is chasing his ambition of competing in the Tokyo Olympics, having said at this year’s French Open that it was “a dream for every athlete” to play the at Games.

Bedene’s hopes to represent Britain in the Olympics or Davis Cup were dashed by the International Tennis Federation which prevents players representing more than one country.

As such, the player will now return to playing for his come country in the new year.

Bedene has played as British player since 2015 (Getty)
Bedene has played as British player since 2015 (Getty)

He wrote on Facebook: "I want to share with you that I have informed the ITF (International Tennis Federation) of my intention to represent Slovenia, my country of birth, from January 1, 2018.

"One of my main goals for my career going forward will be to play in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. I have proudly called Britain my home for the last nine years and so many people there have made me feel welcome both in the UK and abroad.

"I am also particularly grateful for the support the LTA (Lawn Tennis Association) has shown me in that time and in fighting my case for the GB Davis Cup eligibility. It was a dream of mine to be able to compete for a country that has given me so much in the Davis Cup."

Bedene’s return to Slovenia has also been made possible by the recent departure of the country’s Davis Cup captain, Blaz Trupej, with whom the 28-year-old shared an uneasy relationship.

Bedene, who ranked second to Andy Murray among Britain’s professional players, has spent most of the last two months training with British coach Nick Cavaday in Ljubljana.

The decision to switch his allegiances means that Murray and Kyle Edmund are now the only two Britons within the men’s top 100 when the new season gets under way next month.

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