Greg Rusedski has thrown his support behind Slovenian-born Aljaz Bedene’s bid to represent Great Britain in the Davis Cup.
Bedene secured a British passport last month but cannot currently represent his new nation in the competition having played twice for Slovenia in 2010 and 2011.
International Tennis Federation rules currently prevent a player representing more than one nation in the Davis Cup.
Bedene’s switch in nationality has been met by criticism in some quarters, but not from Rusedski, who himself moved from Canada to represent Great Britain in 1995.
Rusedski, who was born in Montreal, was allowed to adopt British citizenship at the age of 21 after the ITF approved his move to play for Britain, where his mother was born.
Rusedski’s international ranking automatically made him Britain’s No 1 player, angering Canadian fans who felt they had lost their best player and frustrating top-ranked British players who felt they had been unfairly displaced.
Rusedski, though, always maintained he “felt British”, and he says Bedene should be granted the same opportunity he enjoyed.
“Every time you get another player in the top 100 it can only be of benefit and I think he will help push and drive other players to get ahead of him,” Rusedski said.
“At the moment when it comes to the Davis Cup he doesn’t even factor into the discussion unless he gets the ITF to overturn their current ruling.
“But I think if the ITF do change their ruling and allow him to become available then it will be a good thing for the game in this country.”
Bedene is currently ranked 99 in the world, making him British No 2 behind Andy Murray and ahead of James Ward, Kyle Edmund and Liam Broady.
Murray has already backed Bedene’s switch of nationality, saying: “I would hope that all the guys that are below him now will use it as motivation.”
Bedene’s Davis Cup case with the ITF is based on the fact that his citizenship was already pending when the governing body amended its own rules on the subject earlier this year.
The 26-year-old has lived in the UK since 2008.