Doubles world No. 43 Natela Dzalamidze has switched her nationality from Russian to Georgian and she is set to compete at Wimbledon. In April, Wimbledon imposed player bans on Russian and Belarusian players. However, Moscow-born Dzalamidze, who is enjoying a career-high ranking of No.
43 in the world, figured a way to get herself into The Championships. Dzalamidze, 29, is focused on doubles as she hasn't made any appearances in singles this year. At Wimbledon, Dzalamidze will compete in the women's doubles event with Serbia's Aleksandra Krunic.
Wimbledon could do nothing to stop Dzalamidze
The Times reached out to Wimbledon, who confirmed Dzalamidze will be allowed to compete. "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 Wimbledon spokesperson told The Times.
In late April, Wimbledon explained their decision to impose player bans on Russian and Belarusian players. For their decision, Wimbledon listed three main reasons. "First, even if we were to accept entries (from Russian and Belarusian players) with written declarations, we would risk their success or participation being used to benefit the propaganda machine of the Russian regime, which we could not accept.
Second, we have a duty to ensure no actions should put players or their families at risk. We understand and deeply regret the impact this will have on all the people affected. 'We believe we have made the most responsible decision possible.
We believe (given Government guidance) there is no viable alternative in this truly exceptional and tragic situation," AELTC chairman Ian Hewitt said. Some Russian and Belarusian players were secretly hoping Wimbledon would reverse their decision but that hasn't happened.
Wimbledon is set to start next Monday and this year's tournament won't feature the likes of Aryna Sabalenka, Victoria Azarenka, Daria Kasatkina, Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev.