Wimbledon has banned players of Russian nationality from competing in this year’s major, but one enterprising player found a loophole: She changed her nationality.
Natela Dzalamidze, a 29-year-old women’s tennis player, was born in Russia but changed her nationality to representing neighboring Georgia earlier this week.
Dzalamidze will be competing in doubles with partner Aleksandra Krunic, who is from Serbia; Dzalamidze is the 43rd-ranked doubles player in the world.
All England Club, which sanctions Wimbledon, said that the distinction of player nationality does not fall under their jurisdiction.
“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 spokesperson told the AP
Dzalamidze being permitted to compete in Wimbledon was first reported by Britain’s Sunday Times.
Russian and Belarusian players are banned from Wimbledon because of their countries’ invasion of Ukraine.
Daniil Medvedev, the top-ranked men’s singles player in the world, is unable to compete in Wimbledon due to this rule.