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Tennis star Elena Baltacha dies aged 30

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Former British number one tennis player Elena Baltacha has died of liver cancer, aged 30.

Born in Ukraine and raised in Scotland, Baltacha revealed she had the illness in March.

Baltacha, who was British number one for nearly three years, retired from the sport in 2013.

R.I.P Elena x

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I have to admit I have never heard of her either. I don't follow tennis closely, but I usually know the most common names in that sport, let alone from the news reports.

In any case, this is tragic - and it always feels bad when someone from one's own generation dies so early. As "Thirty-Somethings" we should actually be at the top of our game, and it shouldn't be all over.

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I'm just stunned. It was only 2 months ago that she announced she had liver cancer (she had been battling a chronic liver illness since she was 19). Although the prognosis for this type of cancer is never good, I hadn't expected the end to come so soon. It's hard to believe she was only 30 years old and only retired from the tour 6 months ago!

I heard that she spent some of her early years living with her family near Chernobyl (she was Ukrainian by birth) and that, like thousands of other local children, she may have contracted her health problems and eventual cancer as a result of exposure to the fallout from the nearby reactor (the incident occurred when she was 3 years old). I guess we can never know for sure.

To Baron and Olympian 2004: Elena Baltacha was the British number 1 female tennis player for more than 3 years. She was a stalwart of women's tennis in the UK for many years although she may not be particularly well known on the world scene.

I thank her for all her efforts to keep British tennis alive and kicking. She may never have scaled the heights but she was one hell of a fighter and a really nice person to boot.

Edited by Mainad
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who? Never heard of her.

Never reached the very top of the game but, with all the health issues she had to deal with, what she did achieve was remarkable. It's a sobering moment when someone who is younger than you dies of such a hideous disease.

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