Britain’s Aljaz Bedene may switch back to representing Slovenia

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The 27-year-old doesn't see a path to playing in the 2020 Olympics because of ITF rules. (AP)

Aljaz Bedene could return to the Slovenian Davis Cup team in a bid to play the 2020 Olympic Games.

The 27-year-old became a British citizen in 2015, but has been prevented from playing Davis Cup because of an ITF rule change at the beginning of 2015 that prohibits players from playing the international team competition for multiple nations during their careers. Players must complete Davis Cup participation requirements to be eligible for the Olympic Games.

"At the moment I'm representing Great Britain, but I do want to play Olympic Games," Bedene told British press. "I'll have to see what can be done."

Bedene moved to Britain in 2008. He had previously played Davis Cup for Slovenia, and was unsuccessful in appealing the ITF's ruling that he cannot play for his new nation.

Bedene is currently the third-highest ranked British player in the ATP rankings, behind Andy Murray and Kyle Edmund. British players have had mixed reactions to his decision to play for Great Britain. Murray backed his inclusion in the Davis Cup team, if Bedene was eligible by the rankings. But Dan Evans, the fourth-highest ranked British player, described Bedene as not "really" British, and said he had chosen to represent Britain for funding and commercial reasons.

Bedene, who is in a relationship with a Slovenian singer, added he is now spending more time in his former country.

“My fiancee said she wants to move back,” said Bedene. “She wants to have her career there. I'm traveling a lot, so it's not easy—but I do want to spend as much time as I can with her.”

Bedene would also have to get the Slovenian tennis federation, which opposed him playing for Britain, to allow him to compete for the team again. 

"I have always been known as Slovenian-born, but I love Britain," Bedene said. "I feel Slovenian and British."


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