January 8, 2018 / 2:14 AM / 10 months ago

Azarenka withdraws from Australian Open

Tennis - Wimbledon - London, Britain - July 10, 2017 Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka reacts during her fourth round match against Romania’s Simona Halep REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Twice champion Victoria Azarenka has withdrawn from this month’s Australian Open as she continues a legal battle over the custody of her son.

The Belarusian had been granted a wildcard for the season-opening grand slam but withdrew on Monday, organisers said.

“Its unfortunate that @vika7 is unable to travel to Australia this year,” tournament director Craig Tiley said on their Twitter feed. “She’s looking forward to returning to Melbourne next year.

Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic has instead been awarded the wildcard for the tournament, which runs from Jan. 15-28.

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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