Former world number one Victoria Azarenka is all set to miss Belarus' Fed Cup final against the USA as she continues to battle for custody over her baby son, team chiefs has confirmed.
The 28-year-old had also skipped this year's US Open in August after a Los Angeles judge, who is presiding in a custody case over her 10-month old son Leo, had ruled that the child must stay in California until his future is being decided.
Downplaying that Azarenka's absence would have any effect on their performance, Belarus team captain Eduard Dubrov insisted his young side are capable of overcoming the same in their first Fed Cup final, which will be played at the Minsk's Chizhovka Arena on November 11 and 12.
"The progress that our young girls have made in recent months gives me confidence in our team's prospects in the final.Victoria (Azarenka) will be unable to come to play for the reasons that everybody knows. It's a pity but we just can't change anything right now," Sport24 quoted Dubrov, as saying.
19-year-old Aryna Sabalenka will spearhead the Belarus squad along with Aliaksandra Sasnovich and Vera Lapko, while doubles specialist Lidziya Morozova was Dubrov's surprise pick as she rejoins Belarus for the first time since 2013.