In January 2014 Elena Baltacha received terrible news: she was diagnosed with liver cancer, just a few weeks after her marriage to tennis coach Nino Severino and her retirement from competition. She died on May 4, 2014, at 30-year-old, in her Ipswich home, surrounded by friends and family, after a terrible illness.
At the 19-year-old, she was diagnosed with primary sclerosing cholangitis, a currently untreated syndrome that produces an occlusion of the bile ducts due to inflammation that causes scarring (narrowing hinders the outflow of bile that accumulates in the liver, irreversibly damaging its cells).
In January 2014, after her retirement, the news came instead of a diagnosis of liver cancer. There were many messages of condolence from her, including those of Martina Navratilova, Serena Williams, Billie Jean King, Maria Sharapova.
In addition, the next day, during the opening night of the Mutua Madrid Open 2014, many players, both from the associations of the ATP and the WTA, entered the central court to remember Bally, the usual nickname of the tennis player.
The most significant interview was released by the Australian tennis player Samantha Stosur, a friend of Baltacha, and was posted on the official website of the WTA.
Murray, Raducanu and Naomi Osaka donate to tennis charity auction
A number of tennis, soccer, and music stars have donated signed memorabilia to the Love All charity auction, charity set up to honor the her memory.
Baltacha, who was once the British number one, was passionate about introducing tennis to disadvantaged children in her adopted hometown of Ipswich. The Love All auction will support existing charities including the Elena Baltacha Foundation, with all proceeds from celebrity donated items going to the causes.
Emma Raducanu and Andy Murray are among the active players to donate items. Naomi Osaka and Jamie Murray have also donated rackets, while Cori Gauff and Lleyton Hewitt have donated shoes. Judy Murray said: "The generosity and widespread support is truly overwhelming.
It is so wonderful to see the tennis community uniting in the spirit of Love All in memory of Bally and all those around the world whose lives have been shattered by this terrible disease. The auction will not only support vital cancer research, screening and care, but will also continue Elena legacy's by introducing the sport she loved to those who might not otherwise have the chance to play. "