Azarenka withdraws from Australian Open

Former champion Victoria Azarenka has become the latest high-profile player to withdraw from the Australian Open.

The former world No 1, who won the title in 2012 and 2013, has slipped down the rankings, but she was given a wildcard to compete in the first Grand Slam of the year.

However, she pulled out of the tournament on Monday as she continues her custody battle with her former partner over their son, Leo. The 28-year-old confirmed that she is not allowed to travel outside California with her son until the case has been resolved.

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

The Belarusian has not played competitive tennis since Wimbledon in July last year and her place in the draw has gone to Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic.