Elena Baltacha could quit tennis
Elena Baltacha faces world number 12 Ana Ivanovic in the second round of the Olympics but admitted her future remains unclear.
The Ipswich-based 28-year-old overpowered Hungary’s Agnes Szavay in the first round of the women’s singles at a sunny Wimbledon on Saturday, then revealed she would take six months off after the Games, and pre-US Open, to have ankle surgery.
The world number 102 had her right shin heavily strapped to relieve the pressure on an ankle problem and will have that, and possibly her left ankle too, operated on.
She said: “They told me at some point I’ll need to have surgery because basically the bone has grown an extra bit of bone.
“It just needs a little extra bit of shaving. They found a loose body in my ankle. I’ve actually got it in my left foot as well, but not as severe.
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“I am thinking of having surgery very soon on it. We’re talking about taking six months and having the surgery done.
“It’s not a serious surgery, it’s pretty straightforward. I know that at some point I need to have it done.
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“I would maybe ask about having the left one done as well, if there’s a chance the left one would get worse as well. Probably be smarter if I get two done.”
Baltacha runs a successful tennis school based at Ipswich Sports Club and knows a lay-off will enable her to dedicate more time to her EBAT academy.
She also questioned whether she would have the motivation to return to the court next year.
“If after that I feel I want to come back, I will come back,” she said. “If I feel I enjoy life at home, I really want to give EBAT my full attention, then I might stop,” she said, as a tie against Ivanovic, possibly today weather permitting, looms.
“I have absolutely nothing to lose,” she said. “She’s the one that is meant to be beating me. It’s a great match to go into because there’s no pressure on me. That way you can really relax and really go for it.”
Yesterday’s inclement weather denied Baltacha to begin her women’s doubles campaign with Anne Keothavong.