Wimbledon has admitted it was “powerless” to stop Moscow-born Natela Dzalamidze from changing nationality to compete in The Championships, after banning athletes from Russia and Belarus following the invasion of Ukraine.
Dzalamidze played in the French Open under the neutral flag as a Russian athlete, and would have been banned from competing at Wimbledon, like other Russian and Belarusian players including world No. 1 Daniil Medvedev.
But the 29-year-old has gone to extra lengths to confirm her inclusion, switching to represent Georgia at SW19.
An All England Club statement, per the Times, read: “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.”
Back in April, the All England Club confirmed that Russian and Belarusian players would be unable to compete at the Wimbledon Championships.
A statement read: “Given the profile of The Championships in the United Kingdom and around the world, it is our responsibility to play our part in the widespread efforts of Government, industry, sporting and creative institutions to limit Russia’s global influence through the strongest means possible.
“In the circumstances of such unjustified and unprecedented military aggression, it would be unacceptable for the Russian regime to derive any benefits from the involvement of Russian or Belarusian players with The Championships.
“It is therefore our intention, with deep regret, to decline entries from Russian and Belarusian players to The Championships 2022.”
The Wimbledon Championships get underway on Monday 27 June, opening with the Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ singles first round.