The tennis community is still in a state of shock at the news of Elena Baltacha's death on Sunday from liver cancer. The 30-year-old Baltacha was newly retired from the WTA Tour and married when she was diagnosed with liver cancer in January.
Current and former players took to Twitter to express their condolences, and a gathering of players and tour staff observed a moment of silence at the Madrid Open on Monday. The loss hit the tennis community hard, but no harder than within Britain. Born in Ukraine, Baltacha's family relocated to Scotland where Elena took up tennis at became good friends with Andy, Jamie and Judy Murray. A former British No. 1, Baltacha was a Fed Cup stalwart and qualified to compete at the 2012 London Olympics.
The tributes on Twitter have been pouring in from players over the last 24 hours:
Impossibly sad. Forever a teammate. Sweet dreams Bally.
— Laura Robson (@laurarobson5) May 5, 2014
Words cannot express how much I'll miss Bally. I feel so lucky to have shared so much with her and to have had her as my friend.
— Anne Keothavong (@annekeothavong) May 5, 2014
What sad news to wake up to today. My thoughts and prayers are with Elena's family on their tragic loss. — Maria Sharapova (@MariaSharapova) 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
Saddened to hear about Elena Baltacha's passing. My fondest memory w/Bally was sharing a wonderful chat when we met the Queen at @Wimbledon — Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) May 5, 2014
Rest in Peace, beautiful Elena Baltacha...No words...Thoughts and prayers... — Chris Evert (@ChrissieEvert) May 5, 2014
Very sad to hear that Elena Baltacha passed away. RIP.
— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) May 5, 2014
Absolutely heartbreaking news- to hear about Elena Baltacha . Bally, you will be sorely missed
— Paul Annacone (@paul_annacone) May 4, 2014
Thinking of Nino and Elena's family. #ripbally #rallyforbally
— Jamie Hampton (@Jamie_Hampton) May 5, 2014
I have nothing to say, so empty.. RIP Elena... Not fair ...my thoughts goes to her family .. She was such a beautiful person ..
— Svetlana Kuznetsova (@SvetlanaK27) May 5, 2014
Shocked to hear of Elena Baltacha's passing. Thoughts go out to her family. Let's all hope she went to a better place than this world is.
— Andrea Petkovic (@andreapetkovic) May 5, 2014
Saddened and humbled this afternoon to hear that we lost a member of the @WTA family. Elena Baltacha will truly be missed!!
— Bethanie MattekSands (@BMATTEK) May 4, 2014
The loss of Elena Baltacha is sad. Cancer is a horrible disease. RIP Elena
— Sloane Stephens (@sloanetweets) May 5, 2014
So incredibly sad to read of Elena Baltacha's passing. A life much too young to be taken. Thoughts are with her family.#Rally4Bally
— Lisa Raymond (@lisaraymond73) May 5, 2014
My thoughts and prayers are with her family... RIP @ElenaBaltacha
— Dinara Safina (@Dinarik27) May 5, 2014
So sad to hear that Elena Baltacha has passed away. It's very hard to believe((She was very nice, friendly and young..We'll miss #wtafamily
— Galina Voskoboeva (@g_voskoboeva) May 5, 2014
So sad to hear about Elena. Tragic. My thoughts and prayers are with family... #RIPBally
— Ana Ivanovic (@AnaIvanovic) May 5, 2014
Shocked and sobered by the passing of fellow tennis player Elena Baltacha..this world is senseless but she is above that now..rest in peace — Vania King (@queen_v21) May 5, 2014