Former world number one tennis star on juggling 'child care and a career'
Tennis player Victoria Azarenka will not play in the US Open as the custody battle over her son Leo is ongoing.
The former world number one tennis star had hoped to play in the New York tournament but while the custody battle is ongoing, neither parent can take Leo out of the state of California.
Victoria shared a personal note on her Twitter account where she said that "like most working mothers, despite my unconditional love for my son, I am faced with a difficult situation which may not allow me to return to work right away".
The 28-year-old went on to say that the only way she could participate in the was if she travelled without her eight-month-old son but this isn't something the new mother is 'willing to do'.
That said, Victoria makes the point that neither parent, mother or father, should have to choose between their child and a career.
"No one should ever have to decide between a child and their career, we are strong enough to do both".
You can read her post in full below.
A Personal Note
— victoria azarenka (@vika7) August 17, 2017
"My incredible fans and friends, who have supported me throughout my career deserve to know why I may not be able to compete at the U.S Open this year.
"The day my son Leo was born, back in December of last year, was by far the happiest day of my life. I now have a brand new appreciation for how new mothers - and fathers – juggle the many different responsibilities for their families. However, like most working mothers, despite my unconditional love for my son, I am faced with a difficult situation which may not allow me to return to work right away.
"In Belarus back in March, with my family in tow, I started working toward the goal of returning to the tennis tour and competing at a high level by July 31st. I was able to return early, playing in Mallorca mid-June followed by Wimbledon.
"Shortly after Wimbledon, Leo’s father and I separated and as we work to resolve some of the legal processes, the way things stand now is that the only way I can play in the US Open this year is if I leave Leo behind in California, which I’m not willing to do.
"Balancing child care and a career is not easy for any parent, but it is a challenge I am willing to face and embrace. I want to support men and women everywhere who know it is ok to be a working mother - or father. No one should ever have to decide between a child and their career, we are strong enough to do both.
"I am incredibly grateful for all of the support I have received from women and men around the world who recognize the importance of supporting working moms and our right to be with our children. I look forward to hopefully having positive developments soon so that this difficult situation can be resolved and I can get back to competing. No parent should have to decide between their child or their career.
"I remain optimistic that in the coming days Leo’s father and I can put aside any differences and take steps in the right direction to more effectively work as a team and agree on an arrangement for all three of us to travel and for me to compete but, more importantly to ensure that Leo has a consistent presence from both of his parents".
Leo was born in December 2016 and Victoria split from his father, Billy McKeague, in July, shortly after her Wimbledon stint.