Bedene ineligible for Davis Cup final as ITF adjourns


The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has delayed a decision on Aljaz Bedene's eligibility to represent Great Britain in the Davis Cup final until March, meaning the 26-year-old will not feature in the tie with Belgium later this month.

Bedene, who was born in Slovenia, represented the country of his birth until earlier this year, when he was granted UK citizenship and began to compete under the GB flag.

Having already played for Slovenia in the Davis Cup, the ITF ruled he could not subsequently compete for GB, leading Bedene to present his case on Tuesday.

But the ITF released a statement declaring a decision will not be taken until March, effectively ruling Bedene out of helping GB in their first Davis Cup final since 1978.

"The International Tennis Federation announced today that the application by the Lawn Tennis Association of Great Britain for the granting of eligibility for Aljaz Bedene to play Davis Cup by BNP Paribas was adjourned until the next ITF Board of Directors to be held on 20-21 March 2016," the statement read.

"The ITF has taken this decision in order to ensure that the rights of all parties are considered. As the application has yet to be decided, the ITF will not provide any further comment on the case."

Both Bedene and the LTA subsequently expressed disappointment at the ruling.

"Disappointed that the hearing with the ITF was postponed, I will keep my head held high," Bedene posted on Twitter. "Hopefully more positive news are coming in March. Thank you everyone in British tennis for your help."

"The Lawn Tennis Association is disappointed at the ITF's late decision today in Prague to postpone the hearing of our appeal for Aljaz Bedene to represent Great Britain in the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas," added the LTA.

"We feel it is important to state that we have complied with the process set forth to us and are working hard to achieve a positive outcome.

"It is in everyone's best interests given how long this process has been on-going, that a fair hearing does place as soon as possible, ideally before the first round of Davis Cup in March 2016.

"That has to be the number one priority going forward. We continue to fully support Aljaz in his bid for a successful appeal."