Victoria Azarenka confirms US Open withdrawal


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Belarusian Victoria Azarenka has confirmed she will not play in this month’s US Open as her custody battles continues with her former partner.

The 28-year-old had been hoping to compete at Flushing Meadows once again but she revealed her doubts because of her situation earlier this month.

The former world number one only returned to the sport in June, just six months after giving birth to her son Leo.

She managed to reach the fourth round of Wimbledon but Azarenka has not played on the WTA circuit since.

An illness and custody battle have continued to derail her progress and now the former Australian Open winner insists she is being forced to miss the tournament in New York.

In a statement, Azarenka said: “I am sadly unable to compete in this year’s US Open due to my ongoing family situation that I am working through.

“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.”

Azarenka has refused to travel and leave her son at home and the two-time finalist has now given her place to Japan’s Misa Eguchi.

With Serena Williams also out of the tournament, Garbine Muguruza is the 5.25 favourite for the final Grand Slam of the year.

She is closely followed in the betting by Karolina Pliskova at 7.00, while Simona Halep is the third favourite at odds of 9.50.

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