Natela Dzalamidze, a Russia-born player, has avoided the Wimbledon 2022 ban by changing her nationality. This comes months after the All England Club had announced that it will not allow players from Russia or Belarus to compete at the grass-court Grand Slam tournament this year because of the war in Ukraine.

Dzalamidze, who is 29 years old, will be able to participate at the Wimbledon this year because she now represents the country of Georgia.

“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.

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Dzalamidze is listed as being from Georgia on the WTA Tour website. The Wimbledon begins on June 27 and the final will be player on July 10. The Russia-born player, who is currently 44th in the doubles rankings, will play with partner Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia

Who is Natela Dzalamidze?

Natela Dzalamidze was born on February 27 in 1993 in Moscow, Russia. She is 29 years old. 

Dzalamidze’s career-high singles ranking was No 245, which she reached in November, 2015. In May 2022, she peaked in the WTA doubles rankings at No 43. The now-Georgian player has two doubles WTA tour titles against her name. She has won 10 singles titles and 33 doubles titles on the ITF Circuit.

Also read | US Open allows Russian, Belarusian tennis players after Wimbledon ban

Natela Dzalamidze is a model too. She endorses beauty and clothing brands on social media. 

She turned pro in 2015 and made her WTA Tour main-draw debut in Nurnberg, Germany in a doubles event along with Sviatlana Pirazhenka. However, both her doubles titles came in 2021 – on at the at the Cluj-Napoca Open in Cluj-Napoca, Romania in October with Kaja Juvan and the other in November at the Linz Open with Kamilla Rakhimova.