Battle over young son forces Azarenka out of US Open

FAMILY FIRST: Victoria Azarenka of Belarus has pulled out of the US Open.
FAMILY FIRST: Victoria Azarenka of Belarus has pulled out of the US Open. Alastair Grant

A CUSTODY battle over her young son has forced former world No.1 Victoria Azarenka out of the US Open, which starts in New York next week.

The 28-year-old Belarusian had Leo last December and returned to tennis in June.

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

"I am sadly unable to compete in this year's US Open due to my ongoing family situation that I am working through," Azarenka, a finalist at Flushing Meadows in 2012 and 2013, 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."

In an open letter posted on social media last week, 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 New York was if she left her child behind in California, which she was unwilling to do.

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

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

Topics:  custody battle flushing meadows us open victoria azarenka

News Corp Australia

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Sharing cultures through food

DIG IN: Lockyer Valley Community Centre volunteers at the Harmony Day food tasting

Community centre hosts Harmony Day event

Gordon reflects on farming life in the Lockyer

LOOKING BACK: Laidley's Gordon Niebling says he has loved his farming life and living in the Lockyer Valley.

The self-proclaimed 'Jack of all trades”, Gordon Niebling.

Clare Atkinson Journalism Scholarship needs your support

IN HONOUR: Brightview's Lesley Atkinson is urging the public to help continue the Clare Atkinson Memorial Scholarship.

Help continue Clare Atkinson's legacy and the future of journalism.

Local Partners