Wimbledon player avoids Russia ban with Georgian nationality

Sports

LONDON (AP) — A women’s doubles player who was born in Moscow will be able to get around the ban on Russians at Wimbledon this year because she now represents the country of Georgia.

Natela Dzalamidze, a 29-year-old who is currently 44th in the doubles rankings, is listed as being from Georgia on the WTA Tour website — and in Wimbledon’s entry list for the tournament, which begins June 27. Dzalamidze will play with partner Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia.

“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 (International Tennis Federation),” an All England Club spokeswoman said in an email to The Associated Press on Sunday.

The All England Club said in April it would not allow players from Russia or Belarus to compete at the grass-court Grand Slam tournament this year because of the war in Ukraine.

Russia, with help from Belarus, began attacking Ukraine in February.

The WTA and ATP professional tennis tours responded to the All England Club’s ban by announcing they would not award ranking points to any players for results at Wimbledon.

Britain’s Sunday Times first reported Dzalamidze’s new nationality.

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