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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/tennis/27333443

Slovenia's Aljaz Bedene is to declare his allegiance to Great Britain - and could play alongside Andy Murray in the Davis Cup next year.
The 24-year-old, who first set up a base in the United Kingdom in March 2008, has a highest ranking of 71.
He has lived permanently in Hertfordshire since 2011.
If his application for a British passport is successful, he will be eligible to represent Britain any time after February next year.

Britain will play their Davis Cup World Group first-round tie in March.
However, it is believed Murray will have the ultimate say on Bedene's participation.
If the Wimbledon champion is unhappy at the prospect of playing alongside a man who was born and brought up in another country, then Bedene will not be considered by captain Leon Smith.
Bedene's best surface is clay - the de facto surface for any team awarded a home tie against Britain - and he appears to have the potential to become a regular member of the world's top 50.
At the very least, Bedene's arrival would increase competition for the second singles spot, which has been shared in recent ties between James Ward and Dan Evans.
The Lawn Tennis Association has not yet been asked to support Bedene's passport application directly but has provided legal assistance and invited the player to train on a couple of occasions at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton.
Bedene is now settled in Hertfordshire with his fiancee, Kimalie, who is a rising singing star in Slovenia, and is currently trying to prove he has spent enough time in the UK over the past five years to fulfil residency requirements for a European Union national seeking a British passport.
Johanna Konta, who was born in Australia to Hungarian parents, did not become a British citizen until May 2012: about seven years after making the UK her base.
Konta has been given a warm welcome, but Bedene will be aware that Greg Rusedski was not at all well received by some other British players when he switched his allegiance from Canada to Britain in 1995.
Bedene is based at the Global Tennis Connections Academy in Gosling and surprised everyone - not least his opponents - by helping his adopted team win the County Cup last November.
He had been planning to go public with his intentions at Wimbledon next month and is determined to represent Britain even if not initially selected to play Davis Cup.
He has been known to don Union Jack-style wrist bands in training and appears to have developed a strong affinity to the UK.

There are clearly commercial advantages associated with such a switch, although Bedene would now be too old to qualify for direct LTA funding as he turns 25 in July.
There is, however, the added attraction of wildcards - if required - into Wimbledon and the warm-up events at Nottingham and Queen's Club as well as Davis Cup fees which can be considerable.
Ironically, Bedene's most recent appearance ended in a straight-sets defeat to Britain's top teenager Kyle Edmund in the first round of a Challenger event in the Italian city of Vercelli last month.
Bedene was suffering from an inflamed left wrist at the time - an injury that he picked up while training in the UK at the end of last year - and has been advised not to return to competition until this month's French Open at the earliest.
Novak Djokovic's former manager, Dirk Hordorff, is currently overseeing Bedene's career and coaching.
Bedene, who was born in Ljubljana and currently stands at 108 in the rankings, reached his first ATP semi-final in Chennai last year and also gained direct entry into all four Grand Slam events for the first time.


Will he be missed by Slovenians? I had no idea that he was based in the UK and hadn't even spotted his County Cup matches. I get the feeling that this is not so much about money and more about convenience - as he does actually live in the UK. Although, its interesting that other than residency the main affinity he has with the UK is his occasional wearing of wristbands :lol:

Also interesting that Andy Murray is apparently picking the GB Davis Cup team!
 

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:speakles:

Any explanation cannot be found.
 

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This was a long time coming to anyone that was following him. Based in the UK for ages now, his singer girlfriend lives there as well as his former agent. Will be interesting to see how he is received over there...

Edit - As I posted this tweet from Dan Evan just rolled in:

Dan Evans ‏@Evo151216 34s
So a guy is becoming British who has already played for his country... Doesn't quite sound right to me!
I saw that Josh Goodall was also skeptical of the move as well.
 

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Burnt his bridges with Slovenia? He'd defo be an upgrade over Evo/Wardy for those troublesome clay ties.

Interesting stuff. There was a shitstorm when Rusedski switched from Canada to GB in the 90s, and he had an English mum. On the women's side, I don't recall a shitstorm when Johanna Konta switched from Aus to GB a couple of years ago.

Leon Smith probably won't risk rocking the boat right now.
 

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This was a long time coming to anyone that was following him. Based in the UK for ages now, his singer girlfriend lives there as well as his former agent. Will be interesting to see how he is received over there...

Edit - As I posted this tweet from Dan Evan just rolled in:



I saw that Josh Goodall was also skeptical of the move as well.
They will all be skeptical as they already were when he played County Cup.
 

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Aljaz Bedene to switch nationalities and represent Great Britain

Aljaz Bedene to switch his allegiance to Great Britain



By Russell Fuller
BBC tennis correspondent

Slovenia's Aljaz Bedene is to declare his allegiance to Great Britain - and could play alongside Andy Murray in the Davis Cup next year.
The 24-year-old, who first set up a base in the United Kingdom in March 2008, has a highest ranking of 71.
He has lived permanently in Hertfordshire since 2011.
If his application for a British passport is successful, he will be eligible to represent Britain any time after February next year.
 

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Re: Aljaz Bedene to switch nationalities and represent Great Britain

Dan Evans ‏@Evo151216
My last tweet nothing to do me playing Davis cup it's just not right is it u have already played for a country! Simple

Dan Evans ‏@Evo151216
So a guy is becoming British who has already played for his country... Doesn't quite sound right to me!
 

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Really strange ... wild card is not really interessant for him because he is a top 100 player and his level is enought to play wimbledon !

also he already played 3 match for slovenia !

cant really find good reason but anyway it make so long time that aljaz hasn't play a good match that it is maybe a good news
 

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I don't understand why anyone would want to live in England. He had so many different options or not?!
 

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wow. totally unexpected...
 

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I don't understand why anyone would want to live in England. He had so many different options or not?!
Apparently it has more to do with his rising singing star girlfriend who couldn't make a career in Slovenia and is now deluding herself that she can in GB.
 

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Re: Aljaz Bedene to switch nationalities and represent Great Britain

2 threads, so it must be true...
evans too bitter there, imo
 

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Great news! Bedene is no world-beater but he is a class above the mugs who usually play the number 2 slot for Britain. Evan's tweet just shows he's already worried about losing his cushy position on the team. A better man would have seen this as an incentive to raise his game and fight for his place but that's not Evans' style. :rolleyes:
 
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