Tennis player Basilashvili in support of incumbent Tbilisi mayor Kaladze ahead of election runoff

Basilashvili has emerged as Georgia's most successful player of the current generation. Photo via Nikoloz Basilashvili athlete page on Facebook., 29 Oct 2021 - 14:45, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia's top tennis player Basilashvili has recorded a message in support of incumbent Tbilisi mayor Kaladze ahead of the municipal election runoff on Saturday in Georgia, wishing the politician success in the tightly contested mayor race.

The brief video message with Basilashvili, who has emerged as the country's most successful player of the current generation over the recent years, was posted on Friday on the Georgian Dream ruling party social media page.

In the address, the winner of five ATP Tour tennis titles calls Kaladze a "very professional [and] hard-working individual, a great person and a very honourable sportsperson.

The video is a part of series posted by the ruling party on its social media in the run-up to the runoff, with other video addresses featuring filmmaker Levan Koguashvili, actor Nanuli Sarajishvili, painter Mamuka Tsetskhladze and other public faces.

Basilashvili earned his fifth ATP Tour title after defeating Jan-Lennard Struff in the final of the BMW Open in Munich in May. Earlier in the year, he also defeated tennis legend Roger Federer at Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha.

The athlete has also been embroiled in a legal battle with his former spouse, who alleged regular domestic abuse against her from Basilashvili, who has denied the charge. The case is still ongoing.

The municipal election runoff, including the vote for the Tbilisi mayor, will be held in Georgia on Saturday. This week a survey commissioned by the opposition-oriented TV channel Mtavari Arkhi predicted Kaladze would receive 51.6% of the vote, against 48.4% of his opponent, Nika Melia from the United National Movement (UNM).