Natela Dzalamidze in action at the 2021 Kremlin Cup, Moscow, Russia, Oct. 16, 2021. Tennis

Russian tennis player Natela Dzalamidze changes nationality to bypass Wimbledon ban

Russian tennis player Natela Dzalamidze changes nationality to bypass Wimbledon ban

Jun 20
SW Creative
  • SportsWriters

Wimbledon admitted it was “powerless” to prevent Moscow-born Natela Dzalamidze from switching nationalities to participate in the Championships after imposing bans on athletes from Russia and Belarus following their invasion of Ukraine.

Dzalamidze, 29, is currently ranked No. 44 in the world in doubles, and her nationality is listed as Georgian on the WTA Tour’s website. Dzalamidze plays with partner Aleksandra Krunic from Serbia.

The All England Club announced in April that it would not allow players from either Russia or Belarus in the tournament this year due to the war in Ukraine.   

The Russian ban at Wimbledon has sparked a civil war in tennis, with both the WTA and ATP calling the move discriminatory and taking points away from the event as a result.

Competing under the Russian flag, Dzalamidze captured two WTA Tour-level doubles titles and has career prize money of just over $370,000.

Russia’s offensive attack on Ukraine began in February with the help of Belarus. 


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Dzalamidze, 29, is currently ranked No. 44 in the world in doubles, and her nationality is listed as Georgian on the WTA Tour’s website.

Not allowing propaganda for Russia

Wimbledon officials have attempted to justify the ban by arguing it is a result of UK government guidance, and that allowing Russian men’s world No. 1 Daniil Medvedev to appear at the tournament would supposedly “benefit the propaganda machine of the Russian regime.”

May 24, 2022, Paris, France: Daniil Medvedev after winning his match against Fecund Bagnis (ARG) on day three of the French Open at Stade Roland-Garros.Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

"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."

- Beatriz Haddad Maia

Natela Dzalamidze in 2014 (retouched)
  • Natela Dzalamidze

    Natela Georgiyevna Dzalamidze is a Russian-born Georgian tennis player. She began representing Georgia in international competition in June 2022.On 16 November 2015,

    wikipedia
  • Daniil Medvedev

    Daniil Sergeyevich Medvedev is a Russian professional tennis player. He is currently ranked as world No. 1 by the Association of Tennis Professionals . He has won 13 ATP Tour singles titles,

    wikipedia
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