5 May 2014

Former British No.1 Baltacha dies of cancer, aged 30

11:59 am on 5 May 2014

The former British women's tennis number one Elena Baltacha has died at the age of 30 from liver cancer.

Baltacha, who was born in Kiev but moved to Britain where her father Sergei was a professional football player for Ipswich Town, turned professional in 1997 and reached a career-high ranking of 49 in 2010.

She competed at the 2012 London Olympics but retired at the end of the 2013 because of persistent knee injuries.

She married her coach Nino Severino in December 2013 before being diagnosed with cancer in January this year.

Even before quitting the Tour, Balatcha had set up an academy for young players in Ipswich.

The Scot, who retired last year, won 11 singles titles, made the third round of Wimbledon in 2002 and was part of Great Britain's Fed Cup team for 11 years.