Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 15°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Ipswich: Former British tennis number one Elena Baltacha dies at the age of 30

08:54 05 May 2014

Elena Baltacha

Elena Baltacha

Ipswich tennis star Elena Baltacha has lost her battle with liver cancer.

Late last night the 30-year-old’s husband Nino Severino spoke on behalf of her family and friends when he said: “We are heartbroken beyond words at the loss of our beautiful, talented and determined Bally.

“She was an amazing person and she touched so many people with her inspirational spirit, her warmth and her kindness.”

The daughter of former Ipswich Town player Sergei died in the early hours of yesterday.

Elena, who always went by her nickname Bally, was diagnosed with liver cancer in mid-January, two months after retiring from professional tennis and just a few weeks after marrying Mr Severino, her long-time coach and partner.

At the time her diagnosis was made public the former British Number One said: “I am fighting this illness with everything I’ve got.”

Despite a determined battle against the disease, Ms Baltacha passed away peacefully at home with her husband by her side and surrounded by friends and family.

Before being struck down with illness, she put her heart and soul into the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis, which helps children from all backgrounds to learn and play tennis.

All those involved in running the Academy have pledged to carry on the work that she started.

A Rally Against Cancer - Rally For Bally - will now be held in her memory on June 15 to raise funds jointly for Royal Marsden national cancer charity and Elena Baltacha Foundation, the charity attached to the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis.

Andy Murray, Ross Hutchins, Martina Navratilova, Tim Henman, Greg Rusedski Jamie Murray, Jonny Marray, Anne Keothavong and Heather Watson are some of the names who will play in mixed doubles exhibition matches at the Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club, the Aegon Classic in Birmingham and the Aegon International in Eastbourne.

Ms Baltacha represented Great Britain for 11 years in the international team competition Fed Cup

She was a proud member of Team GB at the London 2012 Olympic Games, playing singles and doubles.

She spent 132 weeks as British No.1 in singles between December 2009 and June 2012, with her highest world singles ranking being 49, achieved in September 2010.

Ms Baltacha won 11 ITF Pro Circuit singles titles.

Her last competitive tournament was the 2013 US Open.

The Lawn Tennis Association’s head of women’s tennis Iain Bates said in a statement: “We have lost a shining light from the heart of British tennis - a true role model, a great competitor and a wonderful friend.

“We have so many special memories to cherish, but this leaves a gaping hole for everybody in both British and women’s tennis, and words simply cannot express how saddened we are by this news.

“All our thoughts are with Nino and the rest of Elena’s family. We will miss you Bal.”

Stars from the world of tennis have been paying tribute to Elena Baltacha this morning on Twitter.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Dr Dan Poulter, Suffolk MP

A Suffolk MP has called for the introduction of a new tax to fund the NHS and social care system.

Drivers reportedly tried to round up a group of emus near Woolpit

Police received an unusual request this morning to help track down the owner of a group of emus causing difficulties for drivers on a road between Stowmarket and Bury St Edmunds.

Left to right: Sarah Liming, Pauline Tully, Katia Matless, Sara Ames collect their GCSE results at West Suffolk College

Parents are often bursting with pride on GCSE results day, but in Bury St Edmunds two mums were jumping for joy not just for their sons but also for gaining their very own A and A* grades as well.

Left to right: Kevin Woods, Just42 youth work manager; Woodbridge county councillor Caroline Page; Milly Wright, Just42 youth work apprentice; Ellie, youth club member; Sarah Smith, Just42 administrator; Ruth Blunt, Just42 childrens work manager; Caroline Rutherford, Just42 charity manager, outside the Woodbridge youth centre in June

A charity dedicated to supporting young people is hoping to set up temporary accommodation next to its soon-to-be demolished home.

Pedestrian dies after collision near Chelmsford

A teenage pedestrian, critically injured on the A12 near Chelmsford, has died in hospital.

Emergency services attended the crash

One person has been injured after a car reportedly crashed into a wall in Sudbury.

England manager Alf Ramsey and captain Bobby Moore with the Jules Rimet Trophy.

It may be 50 years since Sir Alf Ramsey’s England team won the World Cup - and even longer since he led Ipswich to win the First Division title in their debut season - but affection for the man and what he achieved remains undimmed in his adopted county of Suffolk.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24