Victoria Azarenka’s return from maternity leave got off to an encouraging start on the grass.
But the 28-year-old hasn’t played since, despite planning to compete in Stanford and Cincinnati.
On Wednesday, she was expected to make a statement outlining her situation. There has much speculation, including a takedown on the gossip site TMZ.
Finally, Thursday morning, it came.
Since Wimbledon, Azarenka has been embroiled in the first throes of what could be a nasty custody battle with her ex-boyfriend Billy McKeague.
McKeague is the father of her son Leo, born last December.
But the relationship broke up shortly after Wimbledon. And in the last few weeks, Azarenka has been in court in Los Angeles trying to hash out a temporary custodial arrangement before the permanent parameters are decided upon.
The bottom line is that as it stands, Azarenka says she can play the US Open – but only if she leaves her baby son behind in California.
And she is not prepared to do that.
“I look forward to hopefully having some positive developments soon so that this difficult situation can be resolved and I can get back to competing. No parents should have to decide between their child of their career,” she writes.
“I remain optimistic that in the coming days Leo’s father and I can put aside any differences and take steps in the right direction to more effectively work as a team and agree on an arrangement for all three of us to travel for for me to compete but, more importantly to ensure that Leo has a consistent presence from both of his parents.”