Natila Dzalamidze: Russian-born tennis player changes nationality to avoid ban at Wimbledon

The doubles specialist, ranked No. 43 in the world, is officially listed as holding Georgian citizenship on the WTA website and is eligible to compete with doubles partner Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia when Wimbledon It starts on June 27.

After Wimbledon announced the ban on all Russian and Belarusian athletes in April, the ATP and WTA responded by removing all rating points players would otherwise have earned for their performances at the All England Club.

Some of tennis’ biggest stars, including men’s world number one Daniil Medvedev and women’s world number six Aryna Sabalenka, will not compete in SW19.

In a statement published by timesA Wimbledon spokesperson said they were unable to prevent Dzalamidze, who competed under the neutral flag at the French Open, from changing her nationality.

“Player nationality, defined as the flag under which they play in professional events, is an agreed-upon process governed by Tor and the ITF,” the spokesperson said.

The ban on Russian and Belarusian players has divided the tennis world, and last week the US Open announced that it would not follow Wimbledon’s lead later this year, with players from both countries entitled to compete under a neutral flag.

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