23YO Alexander Shevchenko Takes a Leaf Out of Elena Rybakina’s Book to Make a Bold Career Defining Move

As per several media reports, more than 200 Russian athletes have changed their sports nationality over the last couple of years. This is mainly to continue competing in international events and avoid bans because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In tennis, the switching has been more prominent.

Earlier, Elena Rybakina, Alexander Bublik, and many other tennis players switched nationalities to get better facilities. And, now another Russian, Alexander Shevchenko joins the list.

Alexander Shevchenko is proud to follow in the footsteps of Elena Rybakina and many others


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The 23YO former Russian international was born in Rostov-on-Don, a small port city located in the southern parts of Russia. Alexander Shevchenko has been among those Russian and Belarusian tennis players who were competing on tours as neutral athletes with no national flag. But on Sunday, he got listed for representing Kazakhstan on the map of the tennis world. It was officially announced on the ITF website and the Kazakhstan Tennis Federation also posted a video to make this announcement.

Here’s what Shevchenko wrote on social media, “I’m very proud about it and can’t wait to step on the court, trying to make memorable moments for myself and the country.” He broke through at the ATP level in 2023 when took a jump from the top 150 to the top 50, making his Grand Slam and Masters main draw debuts. Shevchenko married Russian female tennis player, Anastasia Potapova on December 1 last year. Now, he’s all set to represent his new nation at the upcoming ATP 250 event in Montpellier, France.

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Rybakina and Bublik reflect on their decision to change their nationality

Several current and former tennis players including Bublik, Rybakina, Yulia Putintseva, Natela Dzalamidze, and many more have switched their nationalities in the last few years. But why? Here is what Elena Rybakina had said, “They (Kazakhstan federation) believed in me. They made everything possible for me to keep playing, keep improving. I had all the conditions to practice and everything.


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She added, “Of course, it helped a lot. It was very good timing because they were looking for the player. I was looking for some help. They believed in me. So, I think it was very good combination. We just find each other.

Drawing parallel to Elena Rybakina’s statement Bublik also gave his reason citing, “I have been Russian all my life, but they (the Federation) never supported me. I was always the second, third or fourth choice. So I thought, ‘Why should I play for them?’ For example, they helped others financially, but not me. But it’s not just about money, it’s also about encouragement. They would give everything to the guy who was number one and nothing to number three. I had a proposal (to represent Kazakhstan), and I accepted it. But I have the map of St. Petersburg tattooed on my arm.


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Alexander Shevchenko will now team up with his new compatriot but an old partner, Alexander Bublik to play his first match at Open Sud de France. What’s your take on players changing their nationalities to get better facilities and opportunities in their careers?

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