Tennis analyst and former British player Annabel Croft, 56, announced that her husband Mel Coleman passed away just weeks after being diagnosed with stage three cancer Croft, who won a WTA title and reached a career-high ranking of No 24 before retiring at the age of 21, was married to Coleman for 30 years.
Croft and Coleman shared three kids together and the former British tennis star was left "completely heartbroken" after the death of her long-time partner. Coleman, who was 60, was a former professional yachtsman. "My beloved husband Mel passed away peacefully on Wednesday morning after a short battle with cancer.
My family and I are completely heartbroken and ask for privacy at this very sad time," Croft said in a statement.
Croft 'absolutely heartbroken' after the death of her husband
Shortly after retiring from tennis, Croft met Coleman and they spent 30 years together in marriage.
Together, Croft and Coleman ran a tennis school. Even though Croft retired from tennis very early, she stayed connected to the game. In recent decades, Croft established herself as one of the top tennis experts, frequently appearing on the BBC, Eurosport and Sky Sports.
Just last year, Croft came to the defense of British tennis star Emma Raducanu. As Raducanu was dealing with massive criticism, Croft came to Raducanu's defense by explaining how astonishing it was what the 20-year-old was able to accomplish so early.
“We know how good she is because we saw that at the US Open (in 2021), she is such an amazing athlete, she is so intelligent and it will just take time for her to settle down to her new found fame. Her life has changed overnight and that is a lot to cope with for someone so young.
The talent is there and she can get it back on track quite quickly. She is doing her apprenticeship back to front and it will take time. To think that she has gone from 300 in the world to a Grand Slam champion and everyone wanting a piece of her and every match she plays being on a centre court.
That has to be difficult. Everything is being done in the glaring full view of the world’s media, press and fans. It can’t have been easy. If you take away the US Open result and look at her age, where she is at, and she has done quite well," Croft told Tennis365.
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