The Russian-born tennis player changed her nationality to Georgia to compete at Wimbledon later this month.
Double star Natela Dzalamidze, who is currently ranked 43rd in the world, is now listed under the Georgian flag on the WTA website. The move came after Wimbledon banned all Russian and Belarusian players from participating in this year’s Grand Slam due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Belarus supported the invasion.)
Jalamidze competed in the French Open under the neutral flag. While she was born in Moscow, the WTA announced that Jalamidze gave her a Georgian passport, since she is a dual citizen.
“The nationality of the players, defined as the flag under which they play at professional events, is an agreed-upon process run by the Tour and the ITF,” a Wimbledon spokesman told the Times in a statement to CNN.
The All England Club announced in April that it would ban players from Russia and Belarus from competing in the tournament later this month in response to the ongoing war in Ukraine. Although the tournament was one of several to respond to similar sanctions as a result of the Russian invasion, it faced significant reaction.
As a result, the WTA and ATP tours have decided not to award a single point for Wimbledon this year.
Due to the ban, several big names – including top male player Daniil Medvedev and sixth-placed female player Arina Sabalenka – will not attend.
Jalamidze played with Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik at the French Open mixed doubles championship and with Kamil Rakhimov in the women’s doubles competition.
Wimbledon should start on June 27.
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