British number two Aljaz Bedene will bring his talents to Merseyside this summer in a major coup for the Liverpool Hope University International Tennis Tournament.
The 25-year-old became a UK citizen earlier this month and the world number 83 is now second only to Andy Murray in the UK rankings. While top 100 ATP players traditionally head to the Queen’s Club to prepare for Wimbledon, Bedene has decided to head north to the Liverpool Hope University International Tennis Tournament.
Following a similar path to Liverpool tournament legend Greg Rusedski – originally from Canada – Slovenian-born Bedene has lived in the UK since 2008 and this year his application for citizenship was finally approved.
The LTA hope that Bedene will be eligible to strengthen Britain’s Davis Cup team and bring the trophy back to our shores for the first time since 1936.
“I love that the citizenship application is behind me and I am finally playing for GB,” said Bedene.
“I have waited for this a long time. I can’t say much about the Davis Cup at this stage, except that I really hope I get a chance to be eligible to represent GB.
“I’m happy I can play at Liverpool this year. It is such a famous city and to be able to show fans first-hand what I can do is important to me.”
On Liverpool’s famous footballing heritage, Bedene admitted his allegiance lay elsewhere in the Premiership, but as a sports fan he was still keen to see two of the most famous grounds in the world.
“I am a Chelsea supporter,” he said. “But if I get the chance I would love to check out Anfield and Goodison Park. They are two grounds with a great history and as a football fan you have to go and experience them in person if you get the opportunity.”
The tournament will also feature Iranian superstar Mansour Bahrami, three-time grand slam doubles champion Peter McNamara and five-time champion Anders Jarryd.
The Liverpool Hope University International Tennis Tournament takes place at Liverpool Cricket Club in Aigburth from June 18-21.