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February 19, 2020

Davis Cup Tie: Slovenia to miss top player Bedene against Pakistan

Sports

February 19, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Slovenia will be missing world No 47 Aljaz Bedene for the Davis Cup Asia Oceania Group I playoff tie against Pakistan to be played at the Pakistan Sports Complex grass courts on March 6-7.

Slovenia has named a powerful squad for the tie that would determine the relegation. Team winning the contest will go on to stay in Group I while losing side will be relegated to Group II.

The selected Slovenia squad did not include the name of powerful serve and volley player Bedene though his brother Andraz Bedene, who is ranked 840 in the ranking list, is part of the squad. Former world No 250 Tomas Maximiliano Lipovsek Puches — who previously represented Argentina — is also part of the Slovenia team following change in nationality.

The squad is: Andraz Bedene (ranked 840), Tom Kocevar Desman (784), Nik Rozborsek (609), Mike Urbanija (477), Tomas Maximiliano Lipovsek Puches (former world No 250 also represented Argentina previously), Miha Milakar (captain) and Tea Starc (official).

Bedene, who mainly plays Grand Slam and ATP events, is currently busy playing international event. Slovenia squad is expected to reach Islamabad in the first week of March.

According to the Davis Cup rules, changes could be made in the playing line-up two days prior to the start of the tie. If Bedene stays away from the contest, Pakistan would be having good chances of making the tie interesting.

Aisamul Haq and Aqeel Khan will lead the Pakistan campaign. Three top finishers from the recently held trials — Muzammil Murtaza, Mohammad Abid and Heera Ashiq — will join them in the squad.

Preparations are in final stage to hold the competition at the venue that has already hosted Davis Cup ties against South Korea and Thailand.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) Dr Fehmida Mirza has convened a meeting today (Wednesday) to give arrangements a final touch.

Earlier, Dr Fehmida visited Davis Cup site on Tuesday to examine the ongoing renovation work in and around Roshan Hall. She also met PTF President Salim Saifullah Khan and discussed security related arrangements.

Dr Fehmida expressed her happiness over the fact that Pakistan was hosting the ITF Junior World Ranking Championship in which players from 19 countries are taking part.