Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 8°C

Search

Gallery: Rally for Bally unites tennis stars past and present in memory of Elena Baltacha

22:50 15 June 2014

Rally For Bally: Judy Murray tweeted this picture of the ball kids at Eastbourne

Rally For Bally: Judy Murray tweeted this picture of the ball kids at Eastbourne

Archant

Tennis stars of the past and present paid tribute to Elena Baltacha at a series of charity fundraisers held across the nation today.

shares

Tim Henman, Andy Murray and Anne Keothavon, were among those taking part in the Rally for Bally, held in memory of the former British number one, who was based in Ipswich until her recent death from liver cancer, aged 30.

Before the event, Nino Severino, Ms Baltacha’s widower and former coach, told the BBC he spent “every second” with his wife during her “brutal” fight against liver cancer.

Baltacha retired last November, married Severino and was diagnosed with cancer in January, before passing away in May.

“In all the time I spent with Bally, this is what really showed what a person she was,” Mr Severino said.

“She never once, through the whole ordeal, ever complained.

“She said ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ to everybody, treated everyone with respect. She always put my feelings first before hers, never wanted me to be upset.

“I literally spent every second with Bal fighting all the way. It was horrendous cancer that she had, the worst you can get, in the liver. The fight was brutal.”

Other stars who took part in the Rally For Bally events in London, Birmingham and Eastbourne, included Martina Navratilova, Laura Robson and Greg Rusedski.

Ms Navratilova, who has also battle cancer, said: “This match is a bitter-sweet experience. We love this sport so much, which is why we came together, but life really stinks sometimes.

“It stinks that this is why we’re getting together to play but the legacy will live on and that’s the main thing. There’ll be plenty of kids that will benefit from this much premature death of Elena.

“Out of tragedy comes something good and we’ll make sure this isn’t a one-off. I’d like to make this into an annual event and keep it going because she deserves that and the kids deserve it.”

British Fed Cup team captain Judy Murray, who coached Ms Baltacha as a junior, has been a strong supporter of the rallies, which have raised funds for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and The Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis.

“It’s a very special day,” she said.

“Having one event at three venues in her honour is a big thing.

“The calibre and number of players who’ve come to support it is quite remarkable and I think that’s just a sign of how highly she was regarded across the tennis world.

“Everybody remembers her spirit, maybe not everybody knew her quite so well as a person, how humble and kind and generous and funny she was. But as a competitor everybody respected her incredible fighting spirit.

“Everybody knows about the academy now and how much she wanted to give back to the game and how much she wanted to try to grow the game and create opportunities for kids who wouldn’t otherwise have had the chance to play tennis.

“Those funds will be very well used to support the academy for many years, to make sure it goes from strength to strength and that we all remember her.”

To donate to the campaign visit: www.justgiving.com/rallyforbally

shares

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Luke Varney heads home the winner in Towns 3-2 victory, in the Ipswich Town v Milton Keynes Dons (Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 30 April 2016.      
Picture: Steve Waller       
www.stephenwaller.com

Match highlights from Ipswich Town’s final home game of the season, as they beat MK Dons 3-2.

Town players surround David McGoldrick after he had put Ipswich 1-0 up in the Ipswich Town v Milton Keynes Dons (Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 30 April 2016.      
Picture: Steve Waller       
www.stephenwaller.com

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy praised teenage full-backs Josh Emmanuel and Myles Kenlock after their impressive displays in this afternoon’s 3-2 home win over MK Dons.

Luke Varney celebrates Town's winner with David McGoldrick in the Ipswich Town v Milton Keynes Dons (Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 30 April 2016.      
Picture: Steve Waller       
www.stephenwaller.com

Luke Varney’s emphatic last-minute header saw Ipswich Town win their final home game of the season 3-2 against already-relegated MK Dons.

Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans was caught on camera playing in the Sir Bobby Robson Golf Classic in Portugal

EADT 31.8.12

Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans says he ‘will look at transfer fees’ this summer as the club prepares for a 15th successive campaign in the Championship.

Match Centre

Live match updates from Ipswich Town’s final home game of the season, against Milton Keynes Dons.

Town manager Mick McCarthy applauds the fans as he comes on the pitch with assistant Terry Connor ahead of the Ipswich Town v Nottingham Forest (Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 05 March 2016.      
Picture: Steve Waller       
www.stephenwaller.com

Ipswich Town’s season started with promise but has ended with frustration. Mick McCarthy has addressed a range of topics ahead of this afternoon’s dead rubber of a final home match against MK Dons.

Luke Hyam is back for Ipswich Town

Mick McCarthy has been told by Luke Hyam’s agent that the midfielder is ‘going to accept’ a new contract offer from Ipswich Town.

Teddy Bishop in action for Ipswich Town's Under 21s on Monday

Midfielder Teddy Bishop and young full-backs Josh Emmanuel and Myles Kenlock will all start for Ipswich Town against MK Dons tomorrow afternoon.

Piort Malarczyk in action during the Ipswich Town V Portsmouth (Emirates FA Cup Third Round) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 09 January 2016.      

Picture: Steve Waller       

www.stephenwaller.com

Mick McCarthy has revealed that central defenders Piotr Malarczyk and Josh Yorwerth will be allowed to leave Ipswich Town.

Paul Digby and Marc McNulty in action during the Ipswich Town V Portsmouth (Emirates FA Cup Third Round) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 09 January 2016.      
Picture: Steve Waller       
www.stephenwaller.com

Don’t judge a book by its cover. When Paul Digby joined Ipswich Town on loan at the start of January it was, from the outside looking in, a strange bit of business.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24