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Elena Baltacha, former British number one in the Women’s Tennis Association, has died from liver cancer at age 30.
Baltacha, or “Bally,” held the number one spot for British female professional tennis players from 2002 to 2012. She had a successful career until she finally decided to retire on November 18, 2013, due to a knee injury.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Baltacha married her coach, Nino Severino, in December 8 of 2013. He is also the head coach at The Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis (EBAT) in Ipswich, England.
In January of 2014, soon after retiring and marrying, Baltacha was diagnosed with liver cancer. She fought hard and was known by all to be strong and determined. The tennis community had planned to play on June 15 in a “Rally for Bally” fund-raiser. Regretfully, this will now serve as a memorial for the late Elena Baltacha.
BBC Sports states that Baltacha was initially diagnosed with primary sclerosing cholangitis at age 19. This is a chronic inflammatory liver condition that is known to lead to liver cancer. It compromises the immune system and damages the bile ducts. Her husband mourned, “We are heartbroken beyond words at the loss of our beautiful, talented and determined Bally.”
Twitter has since been in uproar – full of regrets, memories, and sorrows.