Russian tennis player Varvara Gracheva acquires French citizenship

2023 Australian Open - Day 6
Varvara Gracheva at the 2023 Australian Open

Varvara Gracheva will no longer represent Russia as she has finally been given French citizenship. The 22-year-old from Moscow received official confirmation of her French citizenship on May 25, according to the French publication L'Equipe.

At the same time, it will still take several weeks or even months to get a passport from her new country, and only after that will Gracheva be able to represent France in all tournaments.

Gracheva's application was validated by living in France for the last seven years and getting a letter of recommendation from the French Tennis Federation. The World No 41. reportedly started the naturalization process in 2020, way before the war between Russia and Ukraine began.

As the 41st WTA player in the world, Gracheva will become France No. 2 as soon as she officially gets her passport, trailing only Caroline Garcia, the current World. No. 5.

Interestingly enough, she has played the fourth-most tournaments this season so far with 35. She's tied with Magdalena Frech and Despina Papamichail and trails Reka Luca Jani (38), Carole Monnet (38), and Sapfo Sakellaridi (39).

At the 2023 French Open, Gracheva was stopped in the second round. In the first round she defeated Dalma Galfi, 6-4, 2-6, 6-1, but then lost to Sloane Stephens, 2-6, 1-6.

Varvara Gracheva is yet to win a title at the professional level

Varvara Gracheva at the 2023 Miami Open
Varvara Gracheva at the 2023 Miami Open

Varvara Gracheva might be the World No. 41 and only 22 years old, but she is yet to win a title at the professional level. She played in just one finale at the WTA level, losing to Marta Kostyuk at the 2023 ATX Open in Austin, Texas, 3-6, 5-7.

At the ITF level, Gracheva has seven titles and two final losses. At the Grand Slam level, the soon-to-be French representative has never gone past the third round.

She played in the third round of the 2023 Australian Open and the 2020 and 2021 US Open. At Roland Garros, she lost in the third round in 2021 and 2022 and never went past the first round at Wimbledon.

Gracheva has managed three top 10 victories in her career, all in 2023. She defeated Daria Kasatkina twice - first at the Australian Open, 6-1, 6-1, and then at the Indian Wells Masters, 6-4, 6-4. She also bested Ons Jabeur at the Miami Open, 6-2, 6-2.

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Edited by Yash Singh
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