Natela Dzalamidze, a Russian-born tennis player, has changed her nationality to Georgian in order to evade a ban imposed by Wimbledon on all Russian players following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
The world No. 43 doubles specialist is now officially recognised as having Georgian nationality on the WTA website, making her eligible to compete with Serbian doubles partner Aleksandra Kruni when Wimbledon begins on June 27.
The ATP and WTA retaliated by removing any rankings points that players would have otherwise received for their performance at the All England Club after Wimbledon issued the ban on all Russian and Belarusian athletes in April.
Some of tennis’ biggest names will be absent at SW19, including men’s world No. 1 Daniil Medvedev and women’s world No. 6 Aryna Sabalenka.
A Wimbledon spokeswoman told The Times that they were unable to prevent Dzalamidze, who participated under the neutral flag at the French Open, from changing her nationality.
“Player nationality, defined as the flag they play under at professional events, is an agreed process that is governed by the Tours and the ITF,” the spokesperson said.