Famous Russian tennis player refuses to play for Russia and changes citizenship
Russia's sixth-ranked Varvara Gracheva (WTA No. 41) has been granted French citizenship, L’Equipe reports. According to local media, she has to wait until she receives a French passport, after which she will no longer be able to play for Russia.
The 22-year-old Russian has been living in France for over five years, training in Cannes at the Jean-René Lisnard Tennis Academy.
The Moscow native reportedly started changing her citizenship in 2020.
Once she receives her French passport, Varvara could become the country's second ranked player after Caroline Garcia.
It is worth noting that after the events of February 24 last year, Russia experienced a massive outflow of athletes. For example, the famous Russian swimmer Anastasia Kirpichnikova decided to play for the French national team.
Sofia Prosvirnova, a four-time world championship medallist and five-time European short track champion, also refused to compete for Russia. The 25-year-old decided that she would compete under the Danish flag.
Prior to that, Russian former world heavyweight champion Murat Gassiyev was granted Armenian citizenship.
Earlier it became known that Viktor Plitsev, a two-time winner of the World Biathlon Championships among boys and juniors, was granted sports citizenship of North Macedonia.