Victoria Azarenka has withdrawn from the U.S. Open, which starts next week in New York. The reason behind her decision is the most unfair: she had to choose between her job and her child.

As every good mother would do, she chose her son.

Caught in an in-court drama (rather than the on-court ones in which we would all rather see her), the Belorussian is fighting with her ex-boyfriend for the custody of their eight-month-old son, Leo.

In a long Twitter message from 17 August, she said: “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.”

It was Sophie’s choice for Azarenka.

Azarenka’s is a choice no mother should have to make

Having to choose between a child and a career is a choice that a mother should never have to be put in front of. Finding a balance between work and family, family and work, is difficult enough as it is. However, for most parents, the choice is easy, albeit unfair: family first.

As Azarenka wrote:

“Balancing child care and a career is not easy for any parent, but it is a challenge I am willing to face and embrace. I want to support men and women everywhere who know it is ok to be a working mother – or father. No one should ever have to decide between a child and their career, we are strong enough to do both.”

And yet, like the vast majority of mothers, the former N°1 sacrificed her career for her child. That is what makes mums so extraordinary: they don’t hesitate to sacrifice what they often hold dear in order to assure the well-being of their offspring.

Nevertheless, we can only wish that the situation gets resolved soon. For the good of Leo, for the good of the father, and, most of all, for Azarenka’s good.

Our thoughts are with Vika in this difficult moment. May it reach the best outcome.

(Photo: Getty Images)