2012 and 2013 Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka had to withdraw from the opening Grand Slam of the season in Melbourne due to an ongoing legal dispute over her child's custody, as she is still not allowed to leave California.
The organizers of the Australian Open saved the wild card for the former world number 1 but it will be taken by Ajla Tomljanovic now. After she struggled with a foot injury in 2014 and 2015, Azarenka made an impressive comeback in 2016, winning titles in Brisbane, Indian Wells, and Miami, and reaching the quarter-final at the Australian Open.
In July, Vika announced that she is pregnant and she gave a birth to a boy Leo in December, returning to court in June 2017 to compete in Marbella and at Wimbledon. In the meanwhile, she split with her boyfriend and they began a legal dispute over child's custody, which forced Azarenka to miss the US Open and the rest of 2017 season.
That dispute has not reached its end yet and Victoria had to turn down her wild card for Melbourne, having to stay in California all the time. Belarusian always loved to compete in Melbourne and this will be the second consecutive time she has missed this Slam after a debut in 2006, notching 39 wins in total.