Victoria Azarenka willing to skip US Open over custody issue

Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka says her participation in the US Open is in doubt because she might not be able to bring her infant son to New York as a result of her separation from his father.

Azarenka posted via Twitter on Thursday that she is "faced with a difficult situation which may not allow me to return to work right away."

Added Azarenka, who used to be No. 1 in the WTA rankings: "No parent should have to decide between their child or their career."

The 28-year-old from Belarus gave birth to Leo, her first child, in December and returned to the tour in June. She has played in just two tournaments since the 2016 French Open and is currently ranked 204th.

Azarenka said shortly after Wimbledon -- where she lost to Simona Halep in the fourth round on July 10 -- that she had separated from her son's father.

"As we work to resolve some of the legal processes, the way things stand now is that the only way I can play in the US Open this year is if I leave Leo behind in California," Azarenka wrote, "which I'm not willing to do."

Azarenka said she hopes to reach an agreement with the boy's father prior to the start of the year's final Grand Slam. The US Open begins Aug. 28.

"I remain optimistic that in the coming days Leo's father and I can put aside any differences and take steps in the right direction to more effectively work as a team and agree on an arrangement for all three of us to travel and for me to compete but, more importantly to ensure that Leo has a consistent presence from both of his parents," Azarenka wrote.

Azarenka was the runner-up in New York in 2012 and 2013, losing in the final each year to Serena Williams. Those were also the years that Azarenka won her two Grand Slam singles titles in Australia.

"Balancing child care and a career is not easy for any parent, but it is a challenge I am willing to face and embrace. I want to support men and women everywhere who know it is OK to be a working mother -- or father. No one should ever have to decide between a child and their career. We are strong enough to do both," Azarenka wrote.

"I am incredibly grateful for all of the support I have received from women and men around the world who recognize the importance of supporting working moms and our right to be with our children," she added. "I look forward to hopefully having positive developments soon so that this difficult situation can be resolved and I can get back to competing."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.