Two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka says she is pregnant and plans to resume her career after the baby is born.
The 26-year-old Azarenka posted a letter on her Twitter account Friday saying that when she was recovering from the knee injury that kept her out of Wimbledon, she and her boyfriend learned they were expecting a child at the end of the year.
“We couldn’t be happier and feel very blessed to begin this exciting journey of building a family together,” she wrote.
“I have been truly inspired by so many strong female athletes who return to the very top of their sport after having children,” Azarenka added, “and I plan to do exactly that.”
Kim Clijsters did exactly that in recent years, coming out of retirement in 2009 after the birth of her daughter and going on to win three more major titles.
Currently ranked sixth, Azarenka had to retire from her first-round French Open match May 24 when she hurt the knee and hasn’t played since.
Azarenka, from Belarus, won the Australian Open in 2012 and ’13 and lost the U.S. Open final to Serena Williams in three sets both years. But she has struggled with injuries in recent seasons.
She made the announcement Friday just as the International Tennis Federation was about to release its list of players for next month’s Olympics. Azarenka’s name was on the roster even though she won’t be competing in Rio.