LJUBLJANA, December 21, 2017
Aljaž Bedene, currently ranked World No. 49, represented Slovenia when he turned pro in 2008. In March 2015, the 28-year-old was granted UK citizenship and represented Great Britain, but the International Tennis Federation has rejected his application to represent his new country in the Davis Cup as he had previously played three dead rubbers for Slovenia. After his appeals failed, Bedene switched his nationality back to Slovenia would be started for the 2018 season.
Bedene, who made the decision to pursue his tennis career in the UK in 2008 and is practicing in Slovenia, met media representatives at the Telemach business premises in Ljubljana this week. “I went to the UK years ago with the idea to compete for Great Britian, but I was not allowed to do so,” Bedene told. “There were many good people who helped me there. I managed to break into the top 50 of the ATP rankings, but I also had to deal with injuries. A couple of things have changed in the meantime.”
In 2017, Bedene achieved a 15-0 record on the ATP Challenger Tour, winning his 12th, 13th and 14th title of his career respectively at Irving, Sophia Antipolis and Barletta. In July this year, he married Slovenian pop singer Kimalie.
“I have always been in good relations with the president of the Slovenian Tennis Federation, Marko Umberger, and some things from the past have been forgotten or, to be more precise, resolved in favor of tennis. I would like to play for Slovenia in the Davis Cup, as I really want to take part in the Olympic Games in 2020. We talked and found that this is the best for Slovenian tennis. At the beginning of February we will play against Poland,” Bedene is looking forward to the Group II first round tie.
“Aljaž is Slovenian and he will play for Slovenia, which is the most important,” Umberger added. “In the past, some emotional statements were made, but this is not important now. We are all looking into the future. When Aljaž plays ATP tournaments, he will represent Slovenia.”
Before the start of the new season, Bedene is practicing in Ljubljana, but he will soon travel to the other end of the world: “I hope that 2018 will be better, although this season was very successful but I often had to deal with injuries. At the moment, I am well prepared and I can not wait for the season to begin. On 27 December I travel to Doha, followed by the tournament in Sydney and the Australian Open. In February then the Davis Cup fight against Poland. I enjoy playing in Slovenia again. I would like to play the best tennis in my life.”