Two-time champ Azarenka gets Australian Open wild card

FILE – In this Jan. 25, 2016 file photo Victoria Azarenka of Belarus hits a forehand to Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic during their fourth round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia. Two-time former champion Azarenka has been awarded a wild card for the 2018 Australian Open. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, File)

MELBOURNE, Australia — Two-time former champion Victoria Azarenka has been awarded a wild card for the Australian Open.

Azarenka, who won the Australian Open in 2012 and 2013, has been involved in a custody dispute involving her son Leo, who was born last Dec. 19.

She hasn’t competed anywhere since Wimbledon, where she lost to Simona Halep in the fourth round on July 10. The dispute with her former partner started shortly after Wimbledon ended.

Azarenka has played only six matches this year and is ranked 208th.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said on Wednesday that every assistance would be provided to the former No. 1, adding “Vika’s current situation is obviously very difficult for her and we have reached out to offer any support we can.”

The Australian Open starts on Jan. 15.


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