WTA Tour

Custody battle rules Azarenka out of Fed Cup final

2017-11-01 22:47
Victoria Azarenka (AFP)

Minsk - Two-time Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka, who has been locked in a custody battle over her baby son, will miss Belarus' Fed Cup final against 17-time champions United States, team chiefs said on Wednesday.

Former world number one Azarenka was forced to skip the US Open in August after a Los Angeles judge presiding in a custody case over her 10-month old son Leo, ruled the child could not leave California until the matter had been settled.

Belarus team skipper Eduard Dubrov, however, said his young team were capable of overcoming 28-year-old Azarenka's absence in their first Fed Cup final which will be played on the hard courts of Minsk's Chizhovka Arena on November 11-12.

"The progress that our young girls have made in recent months gives me confidence in our team's prospects in the final," Dubrov told reporters.

"Victoria (Azarenka) will be unable to come to play for the reasons that everybody knows. It's a pity but we just can't change anything right now."

Aryna Sabalenka, 19, and currently 78th in the WTA rankings, will spearhead the Belarus squad along with Aliaksandra Sasnovich, ranked 87, and Vera Lapko, also 19, who have all been instrumental in getting Belarus to the final.

Doubles specialist Lidziya Morozova was Dubrov's surprise pick as she rejoins the team for the first time since 2013.

The United States, who will be without both Serena and Venus Williams, have selected US Open champion and world number 13 Sloane Stephens, 2017 US Open and Australian Open semi-finalist and world number 12 CoCo Vandeweghe, Shelby Rogers (ranked 59) and Alison Riske (70).

The US will be playing in their first final since 2010.

Read more on:    wta tour  |  victoria azarenka  |  tennis

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.