No fresh start in 2018: Custody battle keeps Azarenka away from tennis

Half a year after giving birth to her son Leo, Victoria Azarenka returned to competitive tennis at the Mallorca Open in June 2017, but after just six matches played, two at the Spanish tournament and four at Wimbledon, the Belarusian was forced to sideline her tennis career again because of a custody battle with the baby’s father Bill McKeague and there will be no resumption at the start of 2018.

The court procedure that we first heard about in August is apparently not over yet and Azarenka is still not able to travel to tournaments, because she can leave California only after the dispute with her ex is resolved. The two-time Grand Slam champion has notified the January 1st – January 6th ASB Classic that she will be unable to arrive for “personal reasons.”

Tournament director Karl Budge said:

That’s a tough one for her. She’s been training hard and is a professional tennis player that wants to be playing tennis.

We can assume that Vika will not play the Australian Open either, for which she has been given a wildcard.

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4 thoughts on “No fresh start in 2018: Custody battle keeps Azarenka away from tennis

  1. Emman Damian

    I’m really sad that Vika has to undergo all of this legal battle. I know she will spring back from this soon. She’s a fighter and she’s one of my favorites. I hope she participate in the WTA tour soon.

  2. Marija Post author

    Emman Damian, I hope the procedure won’t last for years, as it’s often the case in some countries.

  3. Maggie Wingfield

    Azarenka could probably have traveled to any tournament in 2017 to play but decided instead to use fanbase court of public opinion to publicly skewer via social media the U.S. democratic justice system (the judges in her case) and the father of her child. Many women regularly travel for business without their children as price for the business they are in and vast majority of women like me have far less economic means than this sulking cry baby. Major credible media also seem to have correctly reported that Azarenka has not been able to leave California where she permanently resides with her son meaning the court has probably required the child to stay in California…NOT Azarenka.

    She also superbly aced patsy tennis tournament directors in 2017 and likewise here in early in 2018 holding them hostage telling them she will play and then not.

    Tennis media, blogs and social media have also regularly referred to Billy McKeague as the “ex” of Azarenka but it is plausible that this is 180 degrees the opposite with Azarenka the “ex” of McKeague.

    If you follow timelines it appears that some episode or wedge maybe went terribly wrong between these parents of their young son perhaps in London during Wimbledon because this seems to be when the rails came off. There were harmonious threesome family unit posts from London and just prior from Majorca but radio silence after Wimbledon and her presser post round-of-16 defeat to Simona Halep. At the presser Azarenka spoke in broader than tennis perspective about being able to return to a full house of family & a “soul feeling” with her son and partner.

    Then Azarenka went mysteriously dark with her usually active selfies on social media only to eventually first publicly surface on August 17th on Twitter via use of an application called Twitlonger and a skewering diatribe. Twitlonger in fact uses the tagline “When you talk too much for Twitter.”

    Truth usually wins and the saga of this squealing tennis drama queen is probably far from over. There are many great players itching to take the place of this 208th ranked player.

    God bless the young child here.

  4. P!nky

    I think she needs to be able to prove to Bill that she can be a good mother, and traveling for weeks on end with an infant is not a great way to do that. Hope she can resolve this soon. I think we may not see her at all on court this year.

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