CALIFORNIA - Victoria Azarenka will miss this week's Fed Cup final in Minsk against the United States due to an ongoing custody battle with her baby son's father, the former world number one said on Tuesday.
Azarenka said she was unwilling to leave her son behind in California, where she has a home and where her child was born and must stay until his future is decided.
"It is heart-breaking for me to not have a chance to play and help Belarus in the final but unfortunately, my current custody situation is keeping me in California," the 28-year-old said in a statement posted on her Twitter account.
"Even though I will not be in Minsk for the final my heart is always with my country and my team and I will cheer for them from afar."
The two-times grand slam winner returned to action in June after the birth of her son Leo last December and decided to skip the U.S. Open in September amid the custody battle.
Belarus, who will host the November 11-12 decider, have never won a Fed Cup championship while the United States won the last of their record 17 titles in 2000.
Meanwhile, in other tennis news, world number seven Stan Wawrinka has returned to training ahead of his scheduled comeback at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship (MWTC) exhibition event in December.
Three-times grand slam winner Wawrinka, 32, last played at Wimbledon in July before withdrawing from the U.S. Open and announcing the end of his season in August to undergo surgery following a recurring knee problem.
"First practice since July! Sooooo happy and excited!! Already killing the cones with the backhand!" Wawrinka said on his Twitter account along with a video of him back on the court.
Serbian Novak Djokovic and world number one Rafa Nadal are also scheduled to play at the Abu Dhabi event, which starts on December 28.