Elena Baltacha life and biography

Elena Baltacha picture, image, poster

Elena Baltacha biography

Date of birth : 1983-08-14
Date of death : 2014-05-04
Birthplace : Kiev, Ukraine
Nationality : Ukrainian
Category : Sports
Last modified : 2014-05-05
Credited as : Professional Tennis player, WTA tour, AEGON Award Winning

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Elena Baltacha was a four-time AEGON Award Winning, British tennis player of Ukrainian parentage who plays for Great Britain. Former British number 1, Elena died of liver cancer in 2014 just two months after revealing disease.

Her legacy is set to continue through the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis, which she set up in 2010 to help children from all backgrounds to learn and play tennis. All those involved in running the Academy have pledged to carry on the work that she started, a family statement said.


Her career high ranking of World No. 49 was achieved on 13 September 2010.

Over the course of her career she has won nine ITF singles titles (five $25,000, one $50,000, two $75,000 and one $100,000) and four ITF doubles titles (all $25,000). She has also twice been a runner-up in ITF events in singles and four times in doubles.

In 2010, Baltacha had victories over top 10 players Li Na and Francesca Schiavone, who at the time was the reigning French Open champion.

Baltacha began the year at the 2011 Moorilla Hobart International lost to Roberta Vinci 6–3, 6–4 in the second round. Baltacha then entered the 2011 Australian Open without having to qualify. In the second round she was defeated by Former World No.1 and 2004 Australian Open Champion Justine Henin 6–1, 6–3.

Her next tournament was the 2011 PTT Pattaya Open in Thailand., where she lost to 6th seed Peng Shuai who defeated her in the next round 2–6, 6–1, 6–4.

Baltacha lost in the first round of the 2011 Dubai Tennis Championships to Alexandra Dulgheru 7-6(3), 6-4. She then lost in the second round of qualifying at the 2011 Qatar Ladies Open to Klara Zakopalova 6-1, 6-2.

In the first round of the 2011 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, Baltacha saved 4 match points at 2-6, 4-5 in the first round against Roberta Vinci, finally winning 2-6, 7-5, 6-2. In the second round she'll play another Italian, this time 12th seed Flavia Pennetta.

In 2012, Baltacha was then defeated by 11th seed Ana Ivanovic in the second round in a very tight encounter. This was Baltacha's last professional match of 2012, taking time off to undergo foot surgery.

Baltacha's first tournament back after surgery (in 2013) was a $25,000 ITF tournament in Pelham, Alabama, where she was a direct entrant into the main draw. She withdrew retired against Canada's Sharon Fichman in round one.

An illness to Heather Watson meant that Baltacha made Great Britain's Fed Cup World Group II play-off team to face Argentina. Baltacha replaced Johanna Konta to play one of the singles rubbers on the final day of the play-off. Laura Robson's defeat in the third rubber meant that Baltacha had to gain a victory over María Irigoyen. Baltacha lost in three sets, meaning that Great Britain would have to return to the Europe/Africa Group and attempt to qualify again next February.

Baltacha was handed a wildcard at the Brussels Open a week before Roland Garros. In the first round she surprisingly defeated Stefanie Vögele but lost to the 7th seeded American Varvara Lepchenko in straight sets. At the 2013 French Open Baltacha used her protected rankings points to earn a place in the first round. She was beaten in straight sets by New Zealand's Marina Erakovic. Following this defeat, Baltacha was handed a wildcard to play at the Aegon Trophy, an ITF event in Nottingham, but again lost in the first round to 6th seed Vesna Dolonc.

She reached her first final of 2013 at the Aegon Nottingham Challenge following an impressive straight set victory over Italian Nastassja Burnett in the semi-finals. She then beat the number seven seed Tadeja Majeric in the final in straight sets coming from behind in the first 2–5 down to claim her third title at Nottingham. Baltacha followed this success with a victory in the first round of the Aegon Classic against Czech qualifier Kristyna Pliskova. Baltacha was eliminated in the second round by Maria Kirilenko. She actually retired from tennis in November 2013.


Coached by Alan Jones and Jo Durie; previously coached by Jimmy Mackechnie
Began playing at age 10
Mother, Olga, is a former Russian pentathlete living in North London; father, Sergie, is a former Dynamo Kiev and Ipswich Town footballer living in Glasgow
Enjoys reading, listening to music
Member of Rover Junior Tennis Initiative

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