Victoria Azarenka's child custody battle has again forced her to withdraw from the Australian Open which begins later this month.

Azarenka out of Australian Open

Azarenka out of Australian Open

The 28-year-old former world number one has not played since Wimbledon last year as she is unable to leave California with her son until the custody battle has been settled.

Tournament organisers had given her a wildcard after slipping to 201 in the world rankings following a lack of action, but that will now be handed to Ajla Tomljanovic instead.

Australian Open director Craig Tiley said on Monday: "It's unfortunate 'Vika' is unable to travel to Australia this year.

"The Australian Open is her favourite tournament and she's looking forward to returning to Melbourne next year."

The tournament has already been hit by the loss of Andy Murray and Serena Williams, while doubts remain over whether Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic can play.