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Custody battle forces tennis star to miss US Open

On Behalf of | Aug 11, 2017 | Child Custody

Tennis fans across Texas will not see Victoria Azarenka compete in this year’s US Open. As the New York Post reports, the tennis star has been ordered by a judge not to leave the state of California with her baby boy until she has settled a custody dispute with her ex-boyfriend, Billy McKeague. The tennis player, who was previously ranked first in the world until being beaten by Simona Halep at Wimbledon, had to choose between her child and her career. 

The custody documents were filed by McKeague in California, where Azarenka maintains a residence. The athlete was originally born in Belarus, and a judge has warned her that leaving the state with her son before the end of the custody suit, which is believed would be completed in October. Since the US Open begins in New York at the end of August, and Azarenka does not want to leave her son solely in the care of his father, this means she must miss the tournament. Azarenka’s lawyer stated that they offered to pay for McKeague’s travel and accommodations during the tournament so they could all be in New York, but the judge declined the arrangement.

The baby, Leo, was born in December 2016, and the couple broke up in July 2017. According to TMZ, Azarenka was granted custody in Belarus, where McKeague and their son are all residents, but the California court would not recognize the legality of the order. Azarenka was breastfeeding her son until last month and reportedly did not believe McKeague was capable of taking care of the child on his own.