Victoria Azarenka to miss US Open because of ‘ongoing family situation

Azarenka announced her pregnancy in July 2016, sitting out the rest of the year and giving birth to her son Leo, in December

Two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka will miss the US Open for the second year in a row as she is not allowed to take her baby son out of California amid a custody battle with her former partner. Azarenka announced her pregnancy in July 2016, sitting out the rest of the year and giving birth to her son Leo, in December. She had been hopeful that legal arrangements could be worked out to allow her to compete in the grand slam in New York.

“I am sadly unable to compete in this year’s US Open due to my ongoing family situation that I am working through,” said Azarenka in a statement.

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

In an open letter posted on social media last week, the two-time Australian Open champion had said that no one should ever have to decide between a child and their career.

The former world number one 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. The 28-year-old won the gold medal in mixed doubles at the 2012 Olympics with Max Mirnyi.

She had originally planned to return during this year’s US Open Series but moved up her return date, making her 2017 debut at the Wimbledon tune-up in Mallorca, Spain, where she advanced to the second round.

Japan’s Misa Eguchi moves into the main draw for the tournament, which starts on 28 August. It is unknown if she will play in other events for the remainder of the year.

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