Tennis players have changed their Russian nationality to compete at Wimbledon

Wimbledon tennis ball

Tennis balls lie on the No. 1 court during the 2015 Wimbledon Championships at Wimbledon, south-west London, on July 6, 2015 at the All England Tennis Club. (Photo by GLYN KIRK / AFP)

Tennis player Natela Zalamidze, a former Russian citizen, has chosen to change her nationality in Georgia to avoid Wimbledon bans on all Russian competitors, multiple outlets reported Sunday.

The 29-year-old doubles player, who is currently ranked 43rd in the world, will compete against Serbia’s Alexandra Krunik in the Wimbledon women’s doubles, which starts on June 29 in Jalamidge.

Wimbledon organizers announced on April 20 that all Russian and Belarusian competitors would be turned away this year due to the Ukraine invasion.

The Wimbledon statement at the time stated, “It would be unacceptable for the Russian government to take any advantage of the participation of Russian or Belarusian players in the championship.”

Dzalamidze has two double titles in his career, none yet in 2022.

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