Victoria Azarenka gets wildcard to Australian Open
Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka has been given a wildcard for next month’s tournament.
Azarenka, who won the 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 since Wimbledon.
The Belarusian, ranked 210 in the world, withdrew from the US Open and the Fed Cup final, which Belarus lost to the United States.
"Vika's current situation is obviously very difficult for her and we have reached out to offer any support we can," said Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley.
"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 January."
Victoria Azarenka claimed the Melbourne Park title in 2012 and 2013
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, it's my favourite tournament," she said.
"I've won there twice and always feel so comfortable on court and the city is great.
"It has been a tough year and being able to come back to the competition will be a really positive way to start 2018.