Russian player Natela Dzalamidze has changed her nationality to avoid Wimbledon ban, according to a report in The Times newspaper.
Wimbledon has banned players from Russia and Belarus from competing at this year’s Championship due to the war on Ukraine.
Dzalamidze, a 29-year-old doubles player, has reportedly changed her nationality to Georgian to circumvent the ban.
Ranked No 44 in the world, Dzalamidze will compete in the women’s doubles with Serbia’s Aleksandra Krunic when the tournament starts on June 27.
An All England Club spokesman told The Times they were powerless to interfere in Dzalamidze’s change of nationality, as this was a matter for the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and the International Tennis Federation (ITF), and that she had satisfied the entry requirements.
“Player nationality, defined as the flag they play under at professional events, is an agreed process that is governed by tours and the ITF,” the spokesman said.
Wimbledon’s ban on players from Russia and Belarus provoked a hostile reaction elsewhere in the tennis world, with the WTA and the ATP stripping the tournament of ranking points.
None of the other Grand Slam tournaments have followed Wimbledon’s lead.
The US Open announced last week that Russian and Belarus players will be allowed to compete under a neutral flag.
Wimbledon’s ban has ruled out a swathe of top players, including Daniil Medvedev, the men’s World No 1 and the reigning US Open champion.