Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 10°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

Police and the Bomb Disposal Unit at an incident. Library image.

A cordon was put in place in Church Lane, Dalham, after a suspicious package was found in a car.

Bedroom fire in Kirby-Le-Soken

Firefighters from Frinton tackled a house blaze last night in Kirby-le-Soken.

Philip Roberts as Thomas Seymour, at Sudeley Castle this month, with Katherine Parr, played by Rachel McNeil

This palace was more ‘bling’ than Versailles. So why don’t we all know about it?

Warning issued over bogus caller. Library image.

Police are warning people to be alert after a man knocked on someone’s door claiming they were giving flu jabs.

Bawdsey Manor

One of Suffolk’s best-known and most prominent landmarks has been put up for sale with a price tag of £5million.

Armed police officers arrest two men on suspicion of assault and other offences

This is the moment two men were arrested at gunpoint by armed police in Colchester.

Ed Sheeran has donated 13 bags of clothes to his local St Elizabeth Hospice shop. Left to right, shop manager Rachail Pollard and Samantha Catling.

Dozens of Ed Sheeran fans descended into the St Elizabeth Hospice shop in Framlingham yesterday to get their hands on the singer’s clothes, raising £2,500 for the local charity.

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