Scots tennis star dies of cancer

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Scottish tennis star Elena Baltacha has died of liver cancer, it has been reported.

She was diagnosed in January, months after retiring from tennis.  She had married her long-time coach Nino Severino weeks before being diagnosed.

Born in Ukraine but raised in Scotland, she was the British number one for almost three years.

In a statement, her husband 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.”

The Lawn Tennis Association head of women’s tennis Iain Bates said: “Today we have lost a shining light from the heart of British tennis – a true role model, a great competitor and a wonderful friend.

“We have so many special memories to cherish, but this leaves a gaping hole for everybody in both British and women’s tennis, and words simply cannot express how saddened we are by this news.

“All our thoughts are with Nino and the rest of Elena’s family. We will miss you Bal.”