The Australian Open, which begins next month in Melbourne, will award a wild card to Victoria Azarenka, a former No. 1 player whose ranking has dropped to No. 210.
A two-time Australian Open women’s singles champion from Belarus, Azarenka has played only two official tournaments in the past 19 months.
Azarenka gave birth to her first child, a son named Leo, in December 2016 and returned to the circuit at a grass-court event in Mallorca, Spain, in June 2017.
She lost in the second round and then reached the fourth round at Wimbledon. She has not played a tournament since then because of a legal dispute over child custody with Leo’s father, Billy McKeague. According to Azarenka, she is not allowed to travel with her son outside of California until the case is resolved.
“Vika’s current situation is obviously very difficult for her, and…