Azarenka joins Olympic Games tennis outing list – .

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Azarenka joins Olympic Games tennis outing list – .


Paris (AFP)

Former world number one and 2012 Olympic gold medalist Victoria Azarenka on Thursday became the latest Grand Slam winner to withdraw from the Tokyo Games, citing “the challenges of the pandemic”.

Azarenka, who won gold in mixed doubles alongside Max Mirnyi in 2012, as well as a bronze in singles, joins Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, Dominic Thiem and Angelique Kerber in retiring.

“I would like to let everyone know that I made the very difficult decision not to participate in the Tokyo Olympics,” the 31-year-old Belarusian wrote on Twitter.

“I have a lot of amazing memories winning the gold medal by participating and representing Belarus in previous Games.

“But with all the challenges we face in regards to the pandemic, I know in my heart that this is the right decision for me and for the team.

“I can’t wait to return to the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris to represent Belarus. “

Azarenka did not say whether the ban on her family members from entering Japan, which allegedly included her four-year-old son Leo, was a primary factor in her decision.

World number one and Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic last weekend put his chances of playing in Tokyo to “50/50”.

The Olympic Games, already delayed by a year, begin on July 23.

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