Beyond the Baseline

Elena Baltacha, former British No. 1, dies from liver cancer at 30

Julian Finney/Getty Images Elena Baltacha, retired at the end of the 2013 season after 16 years on the WTA Tour. (Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Former British No. 1 Elena Baltacha died Sunday morning after a battle with cancer. She was 30.

Baltacha, who reached a career-high No. 49, retired at the end of the 2013 season after 16 years on the WTA Tour. She was the British No. 1 for 132 weeks from 2009 to 2012 and won 11 ITF singles titles. Baltacha was diagnosed with liver cancer in January, weeks after marrying her longtime coach, Nino Severino. She died at her home in England surrounded by friends and family.

“We are heartbroken beyond words at the loss of our beautiful, talented and determined Bally," Severino said in a statement. "She was an amazing person and she touched so many people with her inspirational spirit, her warmth and her kindness.” 

The previously announced Rally For Bally charity event will now be held in her memory during the British grass-court season. Andy Murray, Martina Navratilova and Tim Henman are just a few of the current and former players who will team up to play exhibition matches at the Aegon Championships, Aegon Classic and Aegon International.
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