Former Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka to return to action in Melbourne

13 December 2017 03:24

Former world number one Victoria Azarenka has been awarded a wildcard for the Australian Open.

The 28-year-old missed this year's US Open and Belarus' Fed Cup final due to an ongoing child custody battle, and has not played since Wimbledon.

She previously told her fans she was not permitted to take her 11-month-old son, Leo, out of California.

But the two-time Australian Open champion has said she will be returning to the court in Melbourne in January, with the tournament organisers promising to do all they can to ensure she is able to compete.

Tournament director Craig Tiley said: "Vika's current situation is obviously very difficult for her and we have reached out to offer any support we can.

"As a two-time Australian Open champion we've awarded her a wildcard and look forward to seeing her back on court."

Azarenka added: "I'm so excited about coming back to Melbourne for the Australian Open - it's my favourite tournament.

"I've won there twice and always feel so comfortable on court and the city is great.

"It's been a tough year and being able to come back to the AO will be a really positive way to start 2018."

The Belarusian, who has won 20 WTA singles titles, is currently ranked 210 in the world.

Source: PA