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Victoria Azarenka to miss US Open tennis over bitter child custody battle

Victoria Azarenka, former tennis world No. 1, has withdrawn from the US Open because of an “ongoing family situation” over her son Leo

tennis Updated: Aug 22, 2017 10:52 IST
New York
Victoria Azarenka,US Open,tennis
Victoria Azarenka is a former tennis world No. 1 and two-time Grand Slam winner. (Twitter )

Victoria Azarenka, two-time Grand Slam winner, has withdrawn from the US Open as she is not allowed to take her baby son out of California amid a custody battle with her former partner.

The 28-year-old Belarusian returned to action in June, after the birth of her son Leo last December, and had been hopeful that legal arrangements could be worked out to allow her to compete in the August 28-September 10 grand slam in New York.

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“I am sadly unable to compete in this year’s U.S. Open due to my ongoing family situation that I am working through,” former world number one Azarenka, a finalist at Flushing Meadows in 2012 and 2013, said in a statement.

“While I will dearly miss being in New York and playing in one of my favourite tournaments where I have enjoyed some of the best moments in my career, I am already looking forward to being back next year.”

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Due to the custody battle, Victoria Azarenka is unwilling to leave her son behind in California, where she has a home and where her child was born.

In an open letter posted on social media last week, Victoria Azarenka said no one should ever have to decide between a child and their career. She also said the only way she could play in the US Open is if she left her child behind in California, which she was not willing to do.

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Since returning to action, Azarenka has reached the last 16 at the Mallorca Open in June and Wimbledon.

Victoria Azarenka’s withdrawal has opened up a place for Japan’s Misa Eguchi in the main draw at the year’s final grand slam.

First Published: Aug 22, 2017 09:33 IST