KARACHI: Natela Dzalamidze, a Russian-born tennis player, switched her nationality to Georgian to evade a ban imposed by Wimbledon on all Russian and Belarusian players following the country's invasion of Ukraine.
The world number 43 doubles specialist is now officially recognised as having Georgian nationality on the WTA website, making her eligible to compete with Serbian doubles partner Aleksandra Kruni when Wimbledon begins on June 27.
The ATP and WTA retaliated by eliminating any rankings point that players would have otherwise received for their performance at the All England Club after Wimbledon issued the ban on all Russian and Belarusian athletes in April.
Some of tennis' biggest names will be absent at SW19, including men's world number one Daniil Medvedev and women's world No. 6 Aryna Sabalenka.
The tennis world has been divided by the ban on Russian and Belarusian players, and the US Open stated last week that it would not follow Wimbledon's lead later this year, with players from both countries permitted to compete under a neutral flag.