Tennis star Natela Dzalamidze, who was born in Russia, recently changed her nationality to Georgian. She did it to compete at Wimbledon despite the ban that the tournament has placed on all Russian players in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The doubles specialist who is now rated no. 43 in the world is now officially recognized as having Georgian nationality on the WTA website.
As a result, she is entitled to compete alongside her doubles partner Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia when the Wimbledon tournament begins on June 27.
Following the announcement in April that all athletes from Russia and Belarus would be banned from competing at Wimbledon. The ATP and WTA responded by taking away any ranking points. Players would have otherwise received for their play at the All England Club.
It has been announced that Daniil Medvedev, currently ranked first in the world for men’s singles, and Aryna Sabalenka, currently ranked sixth in the world for women’s singles, will not be participating in the 2019 Wimbledon Championships.
A representative for Wimbledon said in a statement that they were powerless to prevent Dzalamidze. Dzalamidze competed at the French Open under the neutral flag. The statement was published by The Times.
“Player nationality, defined as the flag they play under at professional events. It is an agreed process that is governed by the Tours and the ITF,” the spokesperson said.
All England Club Said, “Given the profile of The Championships in the United Kingdom and around the world. It is our responsibility to play our part in the widespread efforts of Government, industry, sporting and creative institutions to limit Russia’s global influence through the strongest means possible,”
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