WTA Tour

Azarenka withdraws from US Open amid custody fight

Victoria Azarenka (AFP)
Victoria Azarenka (AFP)

New York - Two-time US Open runner-up Victoria Azarenka confirmed her withdrawal from the tournament on Monday amid a custody battle concerning her eight-month-old son. 

Azarenka, who signalled last week she may miss the tournament rather than travel to New York without her son Leo, confirmed her withdrawal in a statement. 

"I am sadly unable to compete in this year's US Open due to my on-going family situation that I am working through," the Belarus star said. 

"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." 

The Belarusian reached the final in 2012 and 2013 where she was beaten by Serena Williams on both occasions. 

The 28-year-old said last week she would skip Flushing Meadows rather than be separated from her baby. 

It came after a Los Angeles judge presiding in her custody case with the boy's father, Billy McKeague, said the child could not leave California until the matter had been resolved. 

Azarenka, ranked 204 after a layoff while pregnant and after her son's birth, played last month at Wimbledon, reaching the round of 16 before losing to second-ranked Simona Halep. 

"Shortly after Wimbledon, Leo's father and I separated and as we work to resolve some of the legal processes, the way things stand now is that the only way I can play in the US Open this year is if I leave Leo behind in California, which I'm not willing to do," Azarenka said last week. 

"I look forward to hopefully having positive developments soon so that this difficult situation can be resolved and I can get back to competing. 

"No parent should have to decide between their child or their career."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
42% - 8713 votes
Cricket
11% - 2217 votes
Football
19% - 3986 votes
Athletics
2% - 510 votes
Boxing
1% - 185 votes
Cycling
2% - 482 votes
Golf
5% - 1019 votes
Motorsport
9% - 1759 votes
Tennis
3% - 709 votes
Water sports
1% - 194 votes
American sports
1% - 256 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 648 votes
Vote