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Does Victoria Azarenka Have Custody of Her Son?

Published 05/09/2022, 8:34 AM EDT

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Former world no.1 and two-time Grand Slam Champion Victoria Azarenka is a renowned name on the WTA circuit. The 33-year-old tennis star has tasted success in her professional life, but she has gone through a lot away from the tennis court. Azarenka has a child with her former boyfriend, Billy McKeague. While she isn’t with McKeague any longer, what is the status of their 6-year-old son, Leo?

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In December 2016, Azarenka announced that she had given birth to her son. Her maternity leave and a hoard of other injury-related issues kept her out of the circuit, but by 2017, when she was preparing for a comeback, her relationship with McKeague was breaking down.

Who is Billy McKeague?


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Son of Chase McKeague, the chairman of the investment group Chase and Company, Billy McKeague was a Missouri native. He dreamed of becoming a professional ice hockey player and was quite good at the sport. However, he discovered his true love for golf after he enrolled at the University of Missouri.

After University, he shifted to Hawaii to work at the North Shores Resorts as a golf instructor. While in this role, he met Victoria Azarenka. The duo had a child together, but they split right after Wimbledon in 2017.


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Who Is Victoria Azarenka Married To?

This saw Azarenka take another hiatus as she and McKeague got embroiled in a bitter custody battle over their son.

Victoria Azarenka was willing to embrace the challenge of balancing a career and being a parent

Victoria Azarenka opened up about her personal troubles in an extended tweet and explained the reason she was missing a considerable part of the tour. She also spilled the beans about the trials and tribulations that a single parent has to face.

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,” wrote the two-time Australian Open champion.

The custody battle elaborated

It was reported that McKeague had filed for custody in Los Angeles, where they were raising their son. Azarenka wrote, “Shortly after Wimbledon, Leo’s father and I separated and 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, which I’m not willing to do.

The former world no.1, however, was hopeful that she and her ex would be able to put aside their differences. Her aim was to be a constant presence in their son’s life so as to not hamper his growth.

A win for Victoria Azarenka


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In January 2018, things seemed to be working against McKeague. The judge ruled McKeague’s initial custody filing as not belonging to the state of California, thus relegating the battle to Azarenka’s native Belarus. After some significant legal back and forth, it was reported that Victoria Azarenka won her custody battle against McKeague in 2018.

via Reuters

The Belarussian tennis player talked about how harrowing the experience had been for her personally. She said, “I wouldn’t wish that on anybody to go through what I’ve been going through, but it’s part of life and there are blessings in this situation as well for me.


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‘Wanted Him to Learn Russian’- Victoria Azarenka Reveals Her Wish for Son Leo as She Doesn’t Want Him to Forget His Roots

Victoria Azarenka returned to the tour at the Indian Wells in the same year and has been finding varying degrees of success. Currently, Azarenka has made it to the semi-finals of the 2023 Australian Open.

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Written by:

Rishma Banerjee


One take at a time

Rishma Banerjee is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having done her masters in Political Science with International Relations from Jadavpur University, Rishma's outlet from the hustle-bustle of academics has always been sports, especially Tennis. A die-hard fan of Rafael Nadal, she admires his grit, determination and dedication towards always being better. When not writing content for firms dealing with fintech to social media marketing to sports, she finds herself in journals and books dealing with geopolitics and strategic studies or scrolling endlessly through Tumblr!
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Edited by:

Shubhra Pandey