Tennis star Elena Baltacha dies of cancer at the age of 30
Former British No. 1 Elena Baltacha dies at 30 from liver cancer.
Former British No. 1 Elena Baltacha has died after losing her battle with liver cancer.
Baltacha was diagnosed with the deadly disease in January, a few months after she retired from professional tennis in 2013. The tennis player had a long struggle with primary sclerosing cholangitis, a chronic liver condition that affects the immune system.
Baltacha was a member of the British national team for 11 years and competed in the Fed Cup and the WTA Tour. In a statement released by her husband Nino Severino, 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 head of womens’ tennis of the Lawn Tennis Association, Iain Bates said: “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.”
Elena Baltacha won 11 singles titles and her career-high world ranking was 49.
Current British No. 1 and former teammate Laura Robson, as well as current World No. 1 Serena Williams, among a host of other players, expressed their condolences on Twitter.
Impossibly sad. Forever a teammate. Sweet dreams Bally.
— Laura Robson (@laurarobson5) May 5, 2014
My deepest prayers, thoughts, concern and love goes out to Elena Baltacha’s family. I am deeply sorry for your loss. Revelation 21:4 — Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) May 5, 2014