Paris - Former world number one Victoria Azarenka said
Monday she will return earlier than planned to compete at Wimbledon this July,
seven months after giving birth to son Leo.
"My training has been progressing well and I feel ready
to start competing... plus Leo kinda said he wants to see London and
Wimbledon," the 27-year-old Belarusian wrote on Twitter.
"I will be finalising my schedule before Wimbledon in
the coming days - I plan to play one of the grass-court events prior to
Wimbledon! I will keep you updated!"
Wimbledon starts on July 3 with grass-court warm-up
tournaments beforehand at Mallorca, Spain; 's-Hertogenbosch in The Netherlands
and Nottingham, Birmingham and Eastbourne in England.
Azarenka, a two-time Australian Open champion, previously
said she intended to return at Stanford, California at the end of July.
She launched her 2016 campaign with back-to-back titles at
Indian Wells and Miami, but missed the rest of the season after announcing she
would give birth in December.
In March she said she had resumed training and had brought
on Michael Joyce, long-time coach to Maria Sharapova, as her new coach.
Because of her absence Azarenka's ranking has dropped but
she is eligible for a protected ranking which covers long-term injury and
maternity leave, as long as a player returns within a year of giving birth.