Bedene R1 Miami Open preview, ITF appeal rejected

By Ros Satar

  • Aljaz Bedene will not be permitted to represent Great Britain in the Davis Cup, or the Olympics
  • Next and last step would be the Court of Arbitration for Sport
  • Bedene faces wildcard Roberto

MIAMI, USA – Aljaz Bedene will play his Miami Open R1 match against Roberto Carballes Baena a day after he lost his appeal to the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to be allowed to represent Great Britain in the Davis Cup.

Britwatch Tennis: Full Draws and Schedules

Bedene had to be up at 5am on Sunday to speak to the board to put his case forward, before he was due to play the Challenger final in Irving last week, eventually losing to Marcel Granollers 6-1 6-1. Bedene, who became a British citizen in March 2015.

The crux of his case is that he lodged his passport application before the ITF brought in a rule change that prevented players from representing a second nation.

In their statement, they ruled on three cases before them – Bedene, Maxim Dubarenco (from Moldova to Belarus), and Daria Gavrilova (Russia to Australia). Dubarenco and Bedene’s appeals were turned down, and Gavrilova was granted as now eligible to compete for Australia. Gavrilova has never played in Fed Cup for Russia. Bedene had been selected three times to play in Davis Cup for Slovenia, but contested that he had only ever played a dead rubber.

LTA Chief Executive Michael Downey said in a statement by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA):

“We are very disappointed for Aljaz and with the outcome of the appeal hearing on Sunday. The LTA has fully supported him in his endeavour to represent the country he rightfully and proudly calls home. In terms of next steps, we will consider the options and continue to consult with Aljaz.”

Bedene said: “Of course I am very sad with today’s result and that it has not gone the way I had hoped. I would like to thank all the fans, my team and the LTA for continuing to support me all the way. I will have to assess my situation now before I decide on what steps to take next.”

His final step would be to take his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which is likely to be a lengthy and costly process, at the end of a very frustrating time for the British No. 2. He had trained up in Birmingham alongside the Aegon GB team, ahead of their Davis Cup first round tie with Japan.

Aljaz Bedene v Roberto Carballes Baena [WC] – H2H: Carballes Baena leads 1-0

Bedene will need to gather himself up and get back on to the business at hand as he faces the Spaniard for the second time in their careers. There is no doubt Carballes Baena prefers the clay – his only hard court match this year was at the Guadalajara Challenger where he fell in his opener.

Although Bedene’s best performance this year on the ATP World Tour was a run to the semi-final for Chennai, he did put the time in at the Irving Challenger and really ought to have the match sharpness for this opener.

Prediction: Bedene in straight sets.

Bedene and Carballes Baena are scheduled on Court 7 at 11am (3pm GMT).

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