Azarenka pulls out of Australian Open

Ruben Hill
January 8, 2018

Defending champion Serena Williams has already withdrawn, saying her game wasn't back to a level where she believed she could contend for the title just four months after giving birth to her first child.

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

She added: "My coach and team always said "only go to tournaments when you are prepared to go all the way".

Her Open lead-in included last week's Shenzhen Open, where she made the semi-finals before a 6-2 3-6 6-3 loss to Katerina Siniakova.

Former champion Victoria Azarenka, who has been locked in a custody battle over her young son, pulled out of the Australian Open on Monday.

Camera IconTwo-time champ Victoria Azarenka won't be at Melbourne Park.

The former world number one is involved in an ongoing custody battle over her son and can not leave California until the dispute is resolved.

"It's unfortunate that (Azarenka) is unable to travel to Australia this year", organizers posted on Twitter, quoting tournament director Craig Tiley.

Azarenka has not played since Wimbledon in July because she can not leave California with her son until the dispute ends. The Australian Open, "is her favorite tournament and 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 January 15-28.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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