One of the ASB Classic's star drawcards will not be coming to Auckland.
Former world number one Victoria Azarenka has pulled out due to personal reasons, just a week out from the tournament getting underway.
The double Australian Open champion is currently undergoing a custody battle with her former partner, and a US court has ruled that Azarenka and her son, Leo, cannot leave California until the case is closed.
Tournament Director Karl Budge understands that family is Azarenka's main priority at this time.
"We are obviously very disappointed to not have someone of the calibre of Victoria in Auckland and know how desperately she wanted to be playing here," Budge said.
"However, I think we can all appreciate family comes first and whilst we are disappointed we wish Victoria the very best and hope to see her back on court as soon as possible, including welcoming her back to Auckland in 2019."
The tournament gets underway on the 1st of January.