MELBOURNE, Australia – The custody dispute between two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka and the father of her son Leo, Billy McKeague, has been ongoing in a California court for nearly six months now.
But on Friday, Azarenka won a significant victory in her quest to get custody of her son and the freedom to travel with him, as she seeks to resume her tennis career.
According to the website TMZ (and independently confirmed by tennis.life), the judge agrees with Azarenka that the case should be heard in her home country of Belarus.
In a 65-page opinion, the judge ruled that the case shouldn’t be decided in the U.S.
Reportedly, Azarenka has a court order from Belarus giving her primary custody. Last spring, as the Belarusian trained in her homeland for her return to tennis, McKeague was with her and he had established residency there.
Per TMZ, McKeague has three weeks to appeal the judge’s ruling. And we’re told he will.
Azarenka had been given a wild card into the Australian Open. But as with every tournament since last year’s Wimbledon, she wouldn’t travel without her son. Neither parent, per an earlier ruling by the judge, is allowed to leave California with the boy.