Elena Baltacha loses battle against liver cancer
On behalf of Nino Severino and the family of Elena Baltacha, it is with deepest sadness that we bring you the following news:
Elena Baltacha died in the early hours of Sunday 4th May of liver cancer. She was 30 years old.
Elena, who always went by her nickname Bally, was diagnosed with liver cancer in mid-January 2014, two months after retiring from professional tennis and just a few weeks after marrying Nino Severino, her long-time coach and partner. Despite a determined battle against the disease, she passed away peacefully at home with her husband Nino by her side and surrounded by friends and family.
Statement from Nino Severino, Elena’s husband:
“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.”
Before being struck down with illness, Elena 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.
The Rally Against Cancer – Rally For Bally will now be held in her memory on 15th June 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.