The world of tennis lost one of it's brightest stars as Elena Baltacha passed away after battling cancer for the past few months.
The 30-year-old was Great Britain's number one ranked female tennis player for nearly three years, however, she was forced to retire last November due to health issues and was diagnosed with liver cancer earlier this year in January.
"We are heartbroken beyond words at the loss of our beautiful, talented and determined Bally. She was an amazing person and she touched so many people with her inspirational spirit, her warmth and her kindness"
Tons of stars from the tennis community took to Twitter to mourn the loss of Elena and write messages of love, saying:
My deepest prayers, thoughts, concern and love goes out to Elena Baltacha's family. I am deeply sorry for your loss. Revelation 21:4
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) May 5, 2014
What sad news to wake up to today. My thoughts and prayers are with Elena's family on their tragic loss.
— Maria Sharapova (@MariaSharapova) May 5, 2014
Very sad to hear that Elena Baltacha passed away. RIP.
— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) May 5, 2014
Saddened to hear about Elena Baltacha's passing. My fondest memory w/Bally was sharing a wonderful chat when we met the Queen at @Wimbledon
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) May 5, 2014
So sad to wake up to the terrible news of Elena passing away! RIP Bally! Thinking about her loved ones …
— Kim Clijsters (@Clijsterskim) May 5, 2014
Elena has dealt with health issues for more than a decade now, as she was diagnosed with a chronic liver condition known as primary sclerosing cholangitis when she was just 19 years old. However, she was still able to go on and have a very successful tennis career all the way up until her retirement last year.
A handful of tennis stars including Andy Murray have already agreed to participate in a fundraising tournament called The Rally Against Cancer: Rally For Bally on June 15th.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Elena's family and loved ones at this incredibly difficult time.
[Image via AP Images.]
Tags: andy murray, billie jean king, britain, cancer, elena baltacha, great britain, health, husband, kim clijsters, liver cancer, maria sharapova, nino severino, r.i.p., rafael nada, sad sad, sclerosing cholangitis, serena williams, tennis, twitter, zportz