A Naturalized Briton Could Be Helpful To Britain In Belgium

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Copyright © 2015. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.

With Belgium declaring that an indoor clay court will be laid for the Davis Cup final against Britain in two months time, the services of newly-naturalized Brit Aljaz Bedene could be crucial to the visiting team.

However Bedene, who is confident his appeal to the ITF’s board of directors will be heard in Paris on November 16 will be successful and he is cleared to play for his nation, he will not be making himself available for the final in Ghent because the former Slovenian is insistent it is not morally correct to take a place of any player who has fought so hard to get Britain through three rounds this year.

Bedene became a British citizen in March but two months later was told at a meeting of the Davis Cup Committee that new International Tennis Federation legislation, passed on January 1, forbade players from representing two countries in Davis or Fed Cup competitions. He had represented Slovenia three times in the Davis Cup between 2010 and 2012 but only in dead rubbers but had already lodged the necessary paperwork before the rule came into force.

Sources close to the 26 year-old player, currently ranked 55 in the world and far more accomplished on clay that any other British player besides this year’s French Open semi-finalist Andy Murray, have been led to believe a positive verdict will be given to the appeal.

John Morris, Bedene’s British-based manager for business and affairs, said: “Aljaz is still very much of the view that it just wouldn’t be right to walk straight into the team for the final when he has done nothing in the campaign to get there and other more deserving players have made a valid contribution.”

It is understood there are 11 players globally, both male and female, who were in the process of switching nationality when the ITF’s new legislation was brought in.

By virtue of reaching the upcoming final with three victories not requiring a deciding fifth rubber, Britain have been named top seeds for the Davis Cup’s World Group in 2016 and Morris added: “In which case and all being well, Aljaz would be delighted to become a British Davis Cup player in the first match next year.”

So the choice for British captain Leon Smith for his second string singles player appears to be between James Ward, who played the first two rounds against the United States and France, Dan Evans who was brought in to face Australia in last weekend’s semifinal, and rookie Kyle Edmund.

Copyright © 2015. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.