Custody battle forces Azarenka out of U.S. Open

Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka withdrew from the U.S. Open on Monday because she was unable to resolve a custody dispute with her infant son’s father.

Azarenka gave birth to her first child in December and returned to the tour in June. She detailed the dispute with the boy’s father in a long Twitter post last week, saying she might not be able to bring her son with her to New York.

“I am sadly unable to compete in this year’s U.S. Open due to my ongoing family situation that I am working through,” Azarenka said in a statement.

Azarenka was the U.S. Open runner-up in 2012 and 2013, losing each year to Serena Williams.

Azarenka has not played since Wimbledon, and the former No. 1 player is now ranked 204th.

Williams, who is pregnant with her first child, also will not play in this year’s U.S. Open. On the men’s side, three top-10 players have withdrawn because of season-ending injuries: defending champion Stan Wawrinka, Novak Djokovic and Kei Nishikori.

CONNECTICUT OPEN: Canadian Eugenie Bouchard breezed past American Lauren Davis 6-3, 6-1 to advance to the second round in New Haven, Connecticut.

Bouchard, a former top-five player who got into the tournament with a wild-card entry, next faces top-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska in the final hard-court tuneup for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday.


PREMIER LEAGUE: Wayne Rooney scored his 200th goal in the Premier League to give Everton a lead in the first half, but substitute Raheem Sterling smashed home an 82nd-minute volley as Manchester City fought back for a 1-1 draw at home despite playing with 10 men for more than half of a chaotic game.

Rooney is just the second Premier League player to reach 200 goals. Alan Shearer holds the record with 260 goals.


NHL: Francois Beauchemin agreed to an incentive-laden one-year contract to return to the Anaheim Ducks for the third time.

Beauchemin, 37, helped the Ducks win the Stanley Cup in 2007 during his first tenure with Anaheim from 2005-09. He also played for the Ducks from 2011-15.

n Detroit Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg told his hometown newspaper in Sweden that he “will probably not play” through the end of his contract, which runs until 2020-21.

Zetterberg, 36, cited a longing to return to Sweden as part of his reasoning. He signed a front-loaded, 12-year, $73 million contract in 2009 and is scheduled to make $7 million this coming season, but just $3.35 million in 2018-19. In the final two years of the deal, his salary would drop to $1 million per season.


BANS UPHELD: Lifetime bans for the son of former IAAF president Lamine Diack and Russia’s former top athletics official have been upheld in a doping and bribery case.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said its judging panel dismissed appeals by Papa Massata Diack and former IAAF treasurer Valentin Balakhnichev against bans by the governing body.

A coach, Alexei Melnikov, who led Russia’s long-distance running program, also had his life ban confirmed.

Papa Massata Diack is subject to an international arrest warrant and believed to be in his native Senegal. He is wanted for questioning by France authorities in a corruption case linked to Russian doping and blackmail that also implicates his father.


NBA: The Dallas Mavericks signed free-agent center Jeff Withey, who spent the past two seasons with the Utah Jazz.


VUELTA: Vincenzo Nibali of Italy won the third stage of the Spanish Vuelta in Andorra, and Tour de France champion Chris Froome took the overall lead after a strong run in the first mountain stage.

Froome has a two-second lead over David De La Cruz of Spain, Nicolas Roche of Ireland and Tejay Van Garderen of the U.S.

– News service report