Elena Baltacha, former number 1 tennis player from England who passed away from liver cancer earlier this week at age 30 was memorialized by Andy Murray after his win at the Madrid Open. The Scottish tennis superstar signed the camera lens ‘Bally’ with a heart, Elena Baltacha’s nickname.
The Murrays and Baltachas have been long time friends around the game of tennis as Elena Baltacha was coached by Andy Murray’s mother from a young age.
Andy Murray said of the passing of Elena Baltacha:
When you get that sort of news you realise that it [tennis] isn’t everything. I mean, really it isn’t. Last year with Ross [Hutchins], that was tough. Thankfully he managed to come through it, but then over the last couple of weeks it’s been the same sort of thing. You do realise how lucky you are, and that the most important thing is your health. The more time that passes, the more people will celebrate everything that Bally did because she was a great character, a great person, and she got everything she could out of her potential. Everyone wants to be Wimbledon champion and No 1 in the world, but not everyone can have that. The best thing you can do is achieve your potential and I believe she did that. So that’s big credit to her.
Ross Hutchins was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2013.
Andy and his brother, Jaime, will be part of the Rally For Bally tennis tournament on June 15 to raise money for cancer awareness and to further memorialize Elena Baltacha. Andy Murray also said about Elena Baltacha, “It [Elena Baltacha’s death] is something that every single day you’re going to think about right now. I had had a bit of an idea what was going on for a few weeks, so in some ways you’re prepared for the worst. But it’s just tough, tough for everyone. I just wanted to go out and play and win and try and enjoy it. But it’s not easy.”
The tennis community has echoed Andy Murray’s beautiful thoughts of Elena Baltacha through Twitter.
#ElenaBaltacha would be so proud to know how well respected she was and how she has brought our tennis community together.
— Todd Woodbridge (@toddwoodbridge) May 6, 2014
— Victoria Ling (@LilVik) May 8, 2014
Elena Baltacha was a beautiful person, for someone who lived life as it should be lived, with care, respect, love, and beauty; Elena Baltacha left this world far too soon.