Victoria Azarenka is pregnant, will miss Rio Games
Victoria Azarenka, women’s singles bronze medalist at the 2012 London Games, will miss the Rio Olympics after revealing Friday that she is pregnant with her first child.
The former world No. 1 from Belarus sits at No. 6 in the world rankings, and her withdrawal leaves only Serena and Venus Williams as women in the Rio field who have previously earned Olympic singles medals. Serena won the 2012 gold medal after defeating Maria Sharapova, who is currently banned from the sport.
“While recovering from the knee injury that I sustained at Roland Garros, I received news from my doctor that my boyfriend and I are going to become parents at the end of this year,” Azarenka wrote in a message on Twitter. “We couldn’t be happier and feel very blessed to begin this exciting journey of building a family together.”
Azarenka hurt her knee during the first round of the French Open, and withdrew from Wimbledon because of it. She hasn’t played since, and won’t for the rest of 2016. But she does plan to continue competing as a mother.
As the top seed four years ago in London, Azarenka won the bronze medal after losing to Serena Williams in the semifinals and defeating Russia’s Maria Kirilenko in straight sets in the third-place match. At the 2008 Beijing Games, Azarenka fell to Venus Williams in the third round.
In mixed doubles, which was competed in London for the first time since the 1924 Games, Azarenka and Max Mirnyi won gold, defeating Great Britain’s Andy Murray and Laura Robson.