Elena Baltacha, Former Tennis Star, Dies After Cancer Battle At 30
Elena Baltacha, who was an international top-50 tennis player in her prime, lost her battle with liver cancer on Sunday. She was 30.
Tennis Star Elena Baltacha Dies
Baltacha died surrounded by friends and family over the weekend, the Women’s Tennis Association said on its website. "Elena's journey was never an easy one and yet she consistently showed her strength, good humor and indomitable spirit," WTA chairman Stacey Allaster said. Baltacha was diagnosed with a chronic liver condition when she was just 19. Throughout her professional career, she took a variety of medications and had regular blood tests to manage her condition.
Baltacha’s husband and long-time coach Nino Severino also confirmed Baltacha’s passing through a statement.
"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 Kiev-born Baltacha competed for Great Britain and was once ranked No. 1 in the country. In 2010, she was ranked 49th in the world and was a tough competitor in the Grand Slam tournaments throughout her career. In 2012, Baltacha carried the torch in Kent for the London 2012 Olympics, where she made it past the first round. Due to ongoing ankle troubles, Baltacha retired in November 2013.
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