The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) have confirmed that Aljaz Bedene's appeal against the decision to stop him from representing Great Britain at the Davis Cup has been rejected. The world number 57, who has yet to advance past the second round of a grand slam tournament, was born in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana but moved to Britain back in 2008 before settling in Hertfordshire and becoming a UK citizen in March 2015.
Subsequently ranked at number two in Britain behind Andy Murray, Bedene had hoped to be eligible for the prestigious team event only to see his hopes of selection scuppered due to three singles rubbers played for his former country against Norway, Italy and Denmark between 2010-12. A recent rule change from the International Tennis Federation (ITF) prevents any player from representing two different nations.
The 26-year-old was initially due to discover the outcome of his appeal in November 2015, only for the ITF to postpone the decision until its next board meeting in Moldova on 20 March. Such a delay ruled him out of contention for the 2015 Davis Cup final against Belgium at Flanders Expo, a tie that Britain won 3-1 to clinch their first title since 1936.
"Following Sunday's ITF Board meeting in Moldova, Aljaz Bedene's appeal against a decision to deny him eligibility to represent Great Britain in the Davis Cup, has been unsuccessful," the LTA confirmed in a statement.
Chief executive Michael Downey added: "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."
GB began the defence of their Davis Cup crown against Japan at Birmingham's Barclaycard Arena earlier this month, with Murray setting the seal on a quarter-final berth with an epic five-set victory over Kei Nishikori. They face Novak Djokovic's Serbia next and Bedene is disappointed that he will not be allowed to play.
"Of course I am very sad with today's result and that it has not gone the way I had hoped," he said. "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."