From the news

Victoria Azarenka Could Miss U.S. Open Due to Custody Battle

  • ontennis
  • 12 August 2017
  • 11:08

Victoria Azarenka is thought to be in danger of missing the upcoming US Open because she is busy fighting a custody battle with Billy McKeague, her ex-boyfriend and the father of her eight-month-old son.

Azarenka’s son Leo was born in December and accompanied her to Wimbledon, her second tournament after a 12-month absence from the tour, where she called for the scheduling of matches to be more sympathetic to parents with young children.

McKeague was also present in London and Azarenka told Telegraph Sport: “I have a nanny but she is not here at the moment, so obviously my boyfriend has been helping out. He loves being a dad and spending time with Leo. It’s fun.”

However it is understood that Azarenka and McKeague broke up shortly after Wimbledon and have spent the last few weeks engaged in a legal custody case in California, where she has a home. The American website TMZ has reported that Azarenka has been told she cannot take Leo out of California until the case is resolved.

Azarenka – whose representatives declined to respond to messages yesterday - had been entered into the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, California, which was played last week. However she withdrew from the event a fortnight ago, citing a viral illness.

She was also due to play Cincinnati next week, having requested a wild card into the main draw (her ranking of No. 203 is not high enough to gain entry), but it would now be a surprise if she attended the event.

Azarenka - who is a former world No. 1 and two-time Australian Open champion - is still being quoted as third favourite for the US Open by some bookmakers, behind world No. 1 Karolina Pliskova and the new Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza.

But the year’s final grand slam, which starts on Aug 28, is now just over a fortnight away, and it seems that she has more pressing concerns to address.

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