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Elena Baltacha passes away of liver cancer at 30

The former British professional tennis player Elena Baltacha passed away on May 4, 2014. The tennis star died less than four months after she was diagnosed with the liver cancer. Baltacha was 30 years old and sport stars from all over the world paid tribute to the former number one tennis player in the UK.

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Kristy Gallagher, the TV presenter took to her Twitter account and wrote, “So so sad and shocked to hear of Elena Baltacha’s death. Can’t believe it and only 30. Thinking of her family, sending lots of love”. In 2010, Elena reached the top 50 in the world rankings and retired from tennis in 2013. Reports said that Elena was surrounded by friends and family, including her husband Nino Severino.

Nino and Elena married just weeks before she was diagnosed with cancer. At the age of 19, the former tennis player was diagnosed with primary scelerosing cholangitis, which is a chronic liver condition which affects the immune system. Elena – despite her injuries and illness – went on to reach the Australian Open third round in 2005 and then again in 2010 and reached a career-high at the 49th spot.

Before she was diagnosed with the ailment, Elena focused on the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis which helped children from all backgrounds.

Photo Credits: Scotsman