Elina Avanesyan applies for citizenship of Armenia


World No.78 Elina Avanesyan is poised to represent Armenia on the WTA Tour, following her application for Armenian citizenship. The Russian-born tennis player, originally from Pyatigorsk, has deep familial ties to Armenia.

Elina Avanesyan

In an interview with Sportball24 last year, Elina’s father, Ararat, shared their family’s history. They hail from Nagorno-Karabakh and relocated to Pyatigorsk after the 1992 war, where Elina and her two siblings were born. The family’s connection to Armenia has always been strong, with frequent visits and a deep sense of heritage. Ararat explained, “We visited Armenia many times with our family, we also went to Karabakh to show our children our homeland. As a junior, Elina played many ITF tournaments in Yerevan, in which she won four times, first and second places. We have four President’s Cups in our house, of which we are especially proud.”

Elina’s decision to apply for Armenian citizenship aligns with her family’s roots and her father’s earlier comments about the challenges Russian athletes face. “Unfortunately, the world is not as calm as we would like, and all this affects sports too. Of course it would be great to play for Armenia, I would be only too happy. But now Elina is old enough and makes many decisions herself. If she makes such a decision, we will certainly support her,” Ararat noted.

Although Elina represents Russia and soon Armenia, she currently feels most at home in Spain, where she has lived for several years and trains under the guidance of coach Maria Jose Llorca Pons.

Born in 2002, Elina had a breakthrough season in 2023, reaching the fourth round of Roland Garros and achieving a career-high ranking of No.63, which earned her a nomination for the WTA Newcomer of the Year Award. She continued her success into the current season, improving her career-high ranking to No.60 and once again reaching the fourth round of the French Open, where she was defeated by eventual runner-up Jasmine Paolini.


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