Victoria Azarenka has announced her withdrawal from the US Open as the two-time runner-up is currently entrenched in a custody battle concerning her eight-month old son Leo. The 28-year-old had made a return to competitive tennis at Wimbledon where she bowed out in the pre-quarters to Simona Halep.
Azarenka had earlier hinted that she might miss out on the US Open, which starts on August 22, as she was unwilling to travel to New York without her son Leo. The 28-year-old is in the middle of a custody fight over the eight-month old and is looking to end matters before returning to court.
She finally confirmed it recently saying, "I am sadly unable to compete in this year's US Open due to my ongoing family situation that I am working through. 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."
The decision was taken after the Los Angeles judge presiding over her custody case stated that the child couldn’t leave California till the matter gets resolved.
"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," added Azarenka.
The two-time US Open runner-up had reached the finals of 2012 and 2013 as she lost to Serena Williams on both the occasions. She ranked 204 after her break from the game while she was pregnant and returned to court last month at Wimbledon where she lost to second-ranked Simona Halep in the round of 16.
"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.