Victoria Azarenka appears likely to miss the US Open later this month because of a dispute with her former partner over the care of their baby son.

The former world number one returned to the sport in June, six months after the birth of Leo, and reached the fourth round at Wimbledon.

But she has not played since, citing a viral illness for pulling out of a tournament in Stanford before reports emerged of a custody battle with Leo’s father Billy McKeague.

Azarenka has now broken her silence on the issue, revealing she currently would only be able to play at Flushing Meadows if she leaves Leo at home in California, something she is not prepared to do.

But she remains hopeful an agreement can be reached with McKeague, who she separated from last month, to allow Leo to travel with her to New York.

The 28-year-old wrote on Twitter: “My incredible fans and friends, who have supported me throughout my career, deserve to know why I may not be able to compete at the US Open this year.

“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.

“I look forward to hopefully having positive developments soon so that this difficult situation can be resolved and I can get back to competing. No parent should have to decide between their child or their career.

“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.”