Aljaz Bedene, one of just three British male tennis players still in the Wimbledon draw.
Why haven’t I heard of him before?
26-year-old Aljaz turned pro in 2008 but played for Slovenia until he was granted UK citizenship in March. Currently based in Hertfordshire, he’s resided in England for seven years and lives with fiancée Kimalie. She used to be a member of Foxy Teens – Slovenia’s equivalent to the Spice Girls.
Is he any good?
Besides Andy Murray, Bedene is the only British male to qualify for Wimbledon without a wildcard. Currently ranked 75th – one of just two Brits inside the top 100 – he has won nine Challenger singles titles (that’s the level below ATP tour events) and 2015 has been his year: he reached the final of the Chennai Open in January before losing out to an in-form Stan Wawrinka.
Does he stand a chance at Wimbledon?
After prevailing over Radek Stepanek in a round-one five-set tussle, Bedene has an even tougher test against 22nd seed Viktor Troicki later today. The Serbian won their only previous meeting in straight sets and reached the fourth round at SW19 in 2012, but Bedene is enjoying the support of the Wimbledon home crowd for the first time in his career:
Unbelievable support today for me at @Wimbledon thank you so much to everyone who came to support. I couldn't have done it without you!
Well, that is a point of contention. Despite him being a British citizen, new legislation from the International Tennis Federation specifies that a player cannot compete for two countries in the Davis Cup. Bedene has previously played for Slovenia on three occasions ruling him ineligible for future meets, but it’s a decision he’s continuing to appeal on the grounds that his passport application was filed before the new rule came into place.
What time is his match?
Bedene v Troicki is the third match on Court 12 on Thursday (2 July), following matches from Caroline Wozniacki and Fabio Fogini so, weather permitting, expect him on court mid-afternoon.
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