Dzalamidze says Georgia switch was for Olympics, Wimbledon just a bonus


June 21 (Reuters) – Russian-born tennis player Natela Dzalamidze has said her decision to change nationality to Georgian was driven by her desire to play in the Olympics and being able to compete at Wimbledon was a bonus.

In April, the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) banned Russian and Belarusian players from competing at Wimbledon due to the invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special military operation”. Read more

Belarus was a key stage for the invasion.

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Dzalamidze’s nationality is Georgian on the Wimbledon entry list, allowing her to partner Serbian Aleksandra Krunic in women’s doubles at the Grand Slam.

The WTA Tour said in a statement that Dzalamidze had complied with regulations regarding the change of nationality.

“In the case of Natela, she presented a Georgian passport and ID as she has dual nationality, and therefore her nationality was officially changed in the WTA system,” he said.

“This took place before the Wimbledon entry lists were finalized and published.”

Dzalamidze, whose father is Georgian, said the depth of Russian tennis and the country’s suspension of the Billie Jean King Cup, which players must participate in to meet the ITF’s entry requirements for the Olympics, led to to change.

“My decision was made because I am focused on my career and would like the chance to compete in the Olympics,” the 29-year-old said. Told the temperature.

“The first discussion I had with the WTA was in Indian Wells in early March.

“If I made the decision to play for Georgia and have a chance to play at Wimbledon, why not? Right now I have my best ranking and my prospect is now much better in Georgia.”

Wimbledon, which begins on June 27, has been stripped of its ranking points by the ATP and WTA Tours following its decision to exclude players from Russia and Belarus.

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Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bangalore; Editing by Peter Rutherford

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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