Aljaz Bedene has responded to comments made by Dan Evans, who had said he does not believe Bedene is British.

The Slovenia-born, 27-year-old overtook Evans in the world rankings to which the latter responded by denying that he was the British number four before launching an attack on him. Bedene is the current British number three player.

"Oh, so I'm third," Evans said. "I don't think he (Bedene) really believes he is British either."

"It's nothing against Aljaz. I like him, he's not confrontational in any way – but, to me, it doesn't sit well if you play for another country. I don't feel bad about him, but for me it's a bit baffling as to why."

Bedene, who was granted citizenship in the UK in 2015, has now responded for the first time, stating that he is yet to speak with Evans as he laughed off the comments.

"I haven't yet [spoken to him]," Bedene said, as quoted on The Times. "I will, if I see him. I've got nothing against him. I think it's funny. I like him as a person. I think tennis needs people like him. He's honest, he's saying what he thinks."

While Bedene maintains that he does feel British, he has no desire to challenge the International Tennis Federation (ITF) who rejected his application to represent Great Britain in the Davis Cup last year.

"I'm not thinking about it now," he added. "I just want to focus on my game and it shows on the court which is great. I'm happier now, to be honest."

Bedene is currently playing in the Italian Open where he will face Novak Djokovic in the round of 32 today (16 May) following his 6-3, 6-4 win over Renzo Olivo.

Meanwhile, Evans crashed out in Rome after his first-round 6-3, 6-1 loss to Czech Republic's Jiri Vesely on Sunday (14 May).