AUCKLAND, New Zealand — A continuing custody dispute has prevented two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka from resuming her tennis career at the ASB Classic in Auckland from Jan. 1.
Azarenka notified tournament organizers on Sunday that she will be unable to play the tournament for “personal reasons.”
The former world No. 1 has not played since Wimbledon in July because she cannot leave California until a dispute with her former partner over the custody of their son Leo is resolved.
Tournament director Karl Budge said “there is obviously a fair bit going on and unfortunately the result of that is that Victoria won’t be here next week. That’s a tough one for her. She’s been training hard and is a professional tennis player that wants to be playing tennis.”
Azarenka has been given a wild card into the Australian Open which begins Jan. 15.