“I’m Not Willing To Leave Leo In California”. Azarenka Confirms She Can Skip US Open

Two-time grand slam winner Victoria Azarenka issued a personal message to fans on Thursday confirming information about custody battle and possible drop out of U.S. Open.

The tennis player said she is not willing to part with her son who can not be taken out of California due to the ongoing legal process.

“My incredible fans and friends, who have supported me throughout my career deserve to know why I may not be able to compete at the U.S. Open this year”, she wrote.

“I am faced with a difficult situation which may not allow me to return to work right away.”

The ‘difficult situation’ are the legal proceedings Azarenka is now involved in to separate from her former partner and father of the baby, Bill McKeague.

Azarenka returned to the big game in June, after the birth of her son Leo last December, and reached the last 16 at the Mallorca Open in June and Wimbledon in July during her comeback.

“In Belarus back in March, with my family in tow, I started working toward the goal of returning to the tennis tour and competing at a high level by July 31st.

I was able to return early, playing in Mallorca mid-June followed by Wimbledon,” the tennis player wrote.

It turned out that the couple separated shortly after Wimbledon. Last week, the media reported there’s a custody battle going on between the two, and Azarenka was prohibited to take the baby anywhere out of California by a court order.

“The way things stand now is that the only way I can play in the U.S. Open this year is if I leave Leo behind in California, which I’m not willing to do,” the Belarusian explained to her supporters.

The 28-year-old, who reached US Open finals twice, remains optimistic that legal arrangements can be worked out to allow her to compete shortly. She also thanked the fans for supporting her in trouble.

“I am incredibly grateful for all of the support I have received from women and men around the world who recognize the importance of supporting working moms and our right to be with our children.

I look forward to hopefully having positive developments soon. No parent should have to decide between their child or their career.”

The fans have left over 220 comments in response to the message, wishing Azarenka to “stay strong” and finally unite with the baby.

Source: TUT.BY, Reuters