Natela Dzalamidze has found the loophole. The Russian, ranked 43rd in the world in doubles by the WTA, has changed nationality to be able to participate in the Wimbledon tournament, the British daily The Times reported on Sunday.
The newspaper specifies that the 29-year-old player, now Georgian, will participate in the tournament, associated with the Serb Aleksandra Krunic.
In reaction to the Russian military invasion of Ukraine, the organizers of the London lifting of the Grand Slam decided last April to exclude Russian and Belarusian players from the 2022 edition of the tournament.
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Tournament management unable to react to change of nationality
Quoted by the Times, a spokesperson for the All England Club, which organizes Wimbledon, underlines that the management of the tournament is unable to react to the change of nationality of Dzalamidze.
“The nationality of a player, defined by the flag under which he competes in professional events, is a recognized process which is governed by the circuits (the ATP for men’s tennis, the WTA for women’s tennis, editor’s note) and by the International Tennis Federation”, he said.
Wimbledon begins on June 27. Several top players, including world number one Russia’s Daniil Medvedev and Belarusian Victoria Azarenka, are excluded.
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