Elena Baltacha Farewell: Tribute Pours in Via 'Rally for Bally' Fundraiser
By Ma Evelyn Castino Quilas | May 6, 2014 5:16 PM EST
Tennis stars and fans pay tribute through the 'Rally for Bally' fundraiser after the death of Elena Baltacha, the former British women's number 1 tennis superstar, who succumbed to liver cancer on Sunday at the age of 30.
Ward and Baltacha are now just two wins away from reaching the US Open. (Reuters)
The fundraiser set to be played in June already raised £10,834.47 donations from over 600 people. One of the donors left a message beside the donation with the following words: "Gone too young. A true inspiration for young sportswomen everywhere."
Committing to play in the event which features three mixed double matches are Baltacha's childhood friend Andy Murray, along with Martina Navratilova and Tim Henman. Proceeds of the event will be split between the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis and the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.
Several well-known personalities also expressed their homage to Baltacha via Twitter. Billie Jean King, U.S. former world number 1 tennis player, said: "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."
Paul Annacone, former men's head coach at the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), said, "Absolutely heartbreaking news to hear about Elena Baltacha. Bally, you will be sorely missed."
Television presenter Clare Balding also tweeted: "Desperately sad to hear about Elena Baltacha.#Rally4Bally will be in her memory, for her academy and cancer research."
Ukrainian-born tennis star was diagnosed with the illness in January weeks after she got married with her long-standing coach Nino Severino and two months after she retired from professional tennis.
During her announcement about her illness in March, Baltacha vowed to fight the illness with everything she has.
According to an article from The Guardian, her husband and coach Severino 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."
Described as "one of the shining lights of British women's tennis of recent generations," the Scot has died peacefully at home according to a statement released by her family. She had been enduring a chronic liver condition that compromises the immune system called primary sclerosing cholangitis since she was 19 but had managed the condition throughout her tennis career through regular blood tests and medication.
Baltacha was the daughter of former Ipswich, St Mirren and Inverness footballer Sergei. She was the British number 1 for 132 weeks between 2009 and 2012 reaching a career-high world ranking of 49 in 2010. Despite her struggle with illness throughout her tennis career, she managed to win 11 single titles, reached the third round of Australian Open in 2005 and 2010 and Wimbledon in 2002.
She was forced to retire from tennis after her ankle problems. She launched the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis in 2010 to help children from all walks of life to learn to play tennis.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- ‘Sons of Anarchy’ Season 7 Finale Spoilers: Kurt Sutter On Ending The Biker Series And Picking The Right Song For The Final Ride
- Prince Charles’ Wife Camilla Parker-Bowles In Drug Scandal - Reports
- Prince Harry Kissing Mystery Blond, Cressida Bonas & Camilla Thurlow Are Distant Memory
- St. Louis Rams 28, Seattle Seahawks 26 [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Manny Pacquiao Chasing Floyd Mayweather Jr. Because Of Money But Says Undefeated American Is Afraid Of Filipino - Analysts
- Jules Bianchi Latest Update: F1 Driver's Father Says Son In A Desperate Situation
- Minnesota Timberwolves 2015-2015 NBA Preview: Wiggins-Rubio Era In Minneapolis Begins
- Dallas Mavericks 2015-2015 NBA Preview: Nowitzki, Ellis Has New Shooting Partner In Parsons
- Floyd Mayweather Trains Justin Bieber In The Boxing Ring
- Galaxy Note 4 vs Redmi Note 2 vs iPhone 6: Samsung in Danger with Depressing Q3
- iOS 8 Jailbreak Release Date Likely this October 2014 with Pangu not Evad3rs Firming Up as Creator
- Apple Inc. (AAPL) Stock Set to Soar Beyond $100 Despite Decline After New iPad Launch
- iPhone 6 vs Nexus 6 vs Galaxy Note 4: Performance and User Interface Comparison
- Fappening: Message Board Posters Belittle Nude Photo Leakers As D-Listers Seeking Publicity
- Russia Beefs Up Gold Reserves To Offset Heat of Sanctions And Undercut Dollar
- Fappening: Lindsay Clubine, Wife Of Boston Red Sox Pitcher Clay Buchholz, & George Sampson Of Britain’s Got Talent, Are The Latest Victims Of Celebrity Nude Leaks