Former British number one Baltacha was a top 50 player in her prime but injuries and illness derailed her career, which ended prematurely in late 2013.
Only a few months later she was diagnosed with liver cancer, having battled a liver condition called Primary sclerosing cholangitis since her late teens. She had got married just a few weeks before.
Four months later the popular Brit passed away, leading to former team-mates, rivals, coaches and pundits to express their sadness.
Nino Severino, Elena's husband and former coach, said:
"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."
Now, more than ever, we must Rally Against Cancer, for Elena's academy and the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. Donate: http://t.co/hxDeCCY0mv
— DavidLaw (@DavidLawTennis) May 5, 2014
Impossibly sad. Forever a teammate. Sweet dreams Bally.
— Laura Robson (@laurarobson5) May 5, 2014
We've lost our lovely Bally, too young. Rest in peace. My thought are with Nino and all of her family xx — Heather Watson (@HeatherWatson92) May 5, 2014
So sad to hear of Elena Baltacha's passing- my thoughts are with her family and loved ones, gone much much too soon...
— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) May 5, 2014
Just woken up to the sad news about Elena Baltacha passing away - We won't forget her fighting spirit .Far too young.
— Annabel Croft (@Annabel_Croft) May 5, 2014
Terribly sad news about Elena Baltacha. My thoughts are with her family and friends at this incredibly difficult time. — Ed Miliband (@Ed_Miliband) May 5, 2014
Devastating news about Elena Baltacha! Bless her soul and rest in peace!
— Dom (@dominglot) May 5, 2014
Life is way too unfair sometimes- very sad news about Elena Baltacha. May she rest in peace! — Kyle Edmund (@kyle8edmund) May 5, 2014
Woke in Madrid to hear of Elena Baltacha's passing. This is such a sad day. She lived her short life to the full. Bye Bally. RIP. Neil x
— Neil Harman (@NeilHarmanTimes) May 5, 2014
Rest in peace Elena Baltacha.My thoughts go to her friends and family...
— Jule Goerges (@juliagoerges) May 5, 2014
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