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Tennis: Former British No.1 Baltacha dies of cancer, aged 30

Published on May 5, 2014 8:53 AM
 
Former British women's number one Elena Baltacha has died at the age of 30 from liver cancer, the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) announced on Sunday. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - Former British women's number one Elena Baltacha has died at the age of 30 from liver cancer, the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) announced on Sunday.

"The news of the death of Elena Baltacha, one of the shining lights of British women's tennis of recent generations, is devastating to everyone who has ever had the privilege to know her, play against her, or call her a friend or team mate," a statement on the LTA website said.

"It leaves a huge hole within our sport. Bally gave new meaning to the word 'fighter.' She fought tirelessly during her career against opposition on court, and never gave in to the struggles she endured off it."

Baltacha, who was born in Kiev but moved to Britain where her father Sergei was a professional soccer player for Ipswich Town, turned professional in 1997 and reached a career-high ranking of 49 in 2010.

 
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