Varvara Gracheva to go from Russian No 7 to French No 2

Varvara Gracheva

World No 54 Varvara Gracheva has applied for French citizenship having lived in Cannes since 2016.

Gracheva revealed that she had the intention to apply for citizenship long before the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the ban on Russian and Belarusian players from Wimbledon.

She would then switch from being the seventh-highest ranked Russian woman to being French No 2, if her application is approved.

The head of the Russian Tennis Federation Shamil Tarpischev insists that Gracheva switching nationalities is no great loss for Russia.

He would decline to offer further comment without receiving additional information.

“While I am at the training camp in Turkey, I have no information about the transition of Varvara Gracheva, so I cannot comment on anything. In any case, there are no heavy losses for us,” Tarpischev said in and interview with RBC Sport .

“We have a lot of talented guys. We are working for the next generation.”

The 22-year-old is in the process of finalizing her application to become a French citizen after passing her exam last November, according to the Newspaper L’Equipe and Bein Sports.

According to reports, the file was completed on 5 March and was sent to the Ministry of Interior, the government department in charge of deciding on citizenship applications. However, when a final decision will be made is unknown.

Gracheva is currently competing in the Miami Open and will face Petra Kvitova in the fourth round on Monday.

The up-and-coming Moscow-born player, who has yet to win a WTA title, has already defeated three top-10 opponents this season. She has beaten Russian No 1 Daria Kasatkina twice and also defeated Ons Jabeur.

Earlier this season she reached her first WTA final in Austin but would wind up losing the championship match to Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk.

It would appear that Gracheva is simply making her move to France official rather than seeking out any kind of boost in funding, although she could at least find herself on the French Billie Jean King Cup team.

She has enjoyed a very good run in the Sunshine double and believes she is close to taking her game to the next level.

“I just probably caught this wave where I’m stable, where I always have a chance to play my game, be aggressive, cause troubles for the others by the game style,” Gracheva said, regarding her current form. “Just try to keep rolling on this way.”

Gracheva is yet to comment officially on the switch of nationality.

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