Azarenka given wildcard for Australian Open
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[December 13, 2017]
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Twice
champion Victoria Azarenka has been given a wildcard for next
month's Australian Open, organizers said on Wednesday.
Azarenka, who won the Melbourne Park title in 2012 and 2013,
returned to the WTA Tour in June after having a baby, but has been
involved in a custody battle that has prevented her from playing
She withdrew from the U.S. Open and the Fed Cup final, which Belarus
lost to the United States. She is currently ranked 210 in the world.
"Vika's current situation is obviously very difficult for her and we
have reached out to offer any support we can," Australian Open
tournament director Craig Tiley said in a statement.
"As a two-time Australian Open champion we've awarded her a wildcard
and look forward to seeing her back on court in Melbourne in
Azarenka said she was thankful for the opportunity to return to
Melbourne Park and hoped it would kick-start the year for her.
"I'm so excited about coming back to Melbourne for the Australian
Open, its my favorite tournament," she said.
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Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka during her fourth round match against
Romania’s Simona Halep REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge
"I've won there twice and always feel so comfortable on court and
the city is great.
"Its been a tough year and being able to come back to the AO will be
a really positive way to start 2018."
The tournament runs from Jan 15-28.
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Toby Davis)
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