Russian player changes nationality to avoid Wimbledon ban: report | Tennis News

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Wimbledon will be played from June 27 to July 10©UKTN

A Russian tennis player has avoided a Wimbledon ban on all competitors from her country by changing her nationality to Georgian, according to a report by The Times newspaper. Natela Dzalamidze, a 29-year-old doubles player ranked 44th in the world, will compete in women’s doubles with Serbian Aleksandra Krunic when the tournament begins on June 27.

Wimbledon organisers, the All England Club, announced in April that players from Russia and Belarus would be banned from competition this year following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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But a spokesman for the All England Club told The Times they were powerless to intervene in Dzalamidze’s change of nationality, as it was a matter for the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and the International Tennis Federation (ITF), and that she had met the entry requirements. .

“The nationality of players, defined as the flag under which they play at professional events, is an agreed process which is governed by the tours and the ITF,” the spokesperson said.

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The banning of players from Russia and Belarus from Wimbledon has provoked a backlash elsewhere in the tennis world, with the WTA and the ATP, its men’s equivalent, stripping the tournament of ranking points.

None of the other Grand Slam tournaments have followed Wimbledon’s lead, with the US Open announcing last week that Russian and Belarusian players would be allowed to compete under a neutral flag.

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The Wimbledon ban left out some of the top players, including Daniil Medvedev, the men’s world number one and reigning US Open champion, as well as two-time big winner Victoria Azarenka.

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