A feud between Victoria Azarenka, the former world number one, and her estranged partner Billy McKeague over the custody of their son Leo gain further momentum.
The Court of Appeal in the U.S. ruled that the decision of the Belarusian court that awarded Victoria Azarenka the right for primary custody of her son Leo is entitled to no deference.
The decision also reverses an order by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mark H. Epstein, who ruled in favor of Azarenka.
Earlier court in Belarus, found that the legal residence of the child was Azarenka’s apartment in Minsk. Shortly afterwards McKeague appealed the ruling.
Azarenka’s team of lawyers were confident of victory but didn’t take into account that McKeague was not provided with a notice of proceedings ongoing in Belarus.
The court sent McKeague a notice of hearings, but directed them to him at the Minsk apartment, while he was in Los Angeles at that time.
Neither parent attended the hearing and Azarenka’s mother stood in for her. Los Angeles Superior Court will now make a decision, without taking into account the verdict taken Belarus.
Recall that custody battle goes on for a year and a half. The couple broke up in July 2017 after a heated quarrel in London.
Due to McKeague’s court appeal limiting Victoria and Leo’s travel, she missed a series of important sports events including the US Open, the Australian Open, the ASB Classic in Auckland and Belarus’ Fed Cup.
Back to work
After falling out of the top 1000, the Belarusian has climbed back to world No.51 and reached this year’s Wimbledon mixed doubles final.
She is now ready to make a full swing in 2019.
“I’ve worked really hard to prepare for this year. I’m excited and I’m very motivated. Being a mum is my No.1 priority.
Being a tennis player is my work, which is also a very high priority, but I’ve had this year to kind of test it out and see how I can learn a lot more how can balance my own time and spend time with my son.
And what would be a success? We have one goal, which is to win the tournament,” she said in an interview on the eve of the Brisbane International tournament.