Aljaz Bedene switches British alliance back to Slovenia

Bedene to switch allegiance back to Slovenia from Britain

Bedene to switch allegiance back to Slovenia from Britain

Aljaz Bedene says he is returning to play tennis for Slovenia after competing for Britain since 2015.

A long legal battle subsequently failed and in May at the French Open he let slip that he might consider going back to his homeland because, having watched the Olympics in Rio the previous summer, he was frustrated that there was no way of competing all the time he tied his colours to the British mast.

Subsequently he moved back to Slovenia and married long-term girlfriend Kimalie and today's announcement had always been anticipated.

"I want to share with you that I have informed the ITF of my intention to represent Slovenia, my country of birth, from the 1st January 2018".

"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 United Kingdom and overseas", Bedene said in a statement.

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As a player has to represent their nation in the Davis Cup between Olympic cycles, he is also ineligible to compete for Team GB at the Olympics.

ITF rules that entered into force in 2015 prohibited Bedene from playing in the Davis Cup for his adopted country because he already competed for Slovenia in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Bedene's decision was prompted by his desire to compete in the Davis Cup and the 2020 Olympics, which he could not do under the British flag after losing an appeal with the ITF. "I look forward to seeing all my friends and fans on Tour next year".

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.

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