Gracheva becomes the first Russian to enter the top 50 of the WTA and applies for French citizenship

It is becoming increasingly difficult for Russian tennis players to travel due to the war in Ukraine. They are tired of being treated with suspicion everywhere they go.

According to the newspaper L’Equipe, the best tennis player in her country, Daria Kasatkina, who lives in Barcelona, already hinted at seeking another nationality last season. Varvara Gracheva has also taken the step.

Gracheva, the eighth-finalist at the Miami Open, has lived in France since 2016 and is based in Cannes.

A 22-year-old Varvara, who will rank in the top 50 on Monday, April 3, would serve as a good reinforcement for the French squad, which only includes Caroline Garcia in the top 60 and three players in the top 100. In addition to Garcia, Alize Cornet (66th) and Oceane Dodin (93rd) are also included.

In the past season, Kazakhstan Tennis Federation vice-president Yuri Polskiy admitted that the organization received more than 30 requests from Russian players to change their passports.

The last Wimbledon was won by Elena Rybakina, a native of Moscow who became a naturalised citizen in 2018 after playing under the Kazakh flag.


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