Commemorating Elena Baltacha with cute childhood pics


Today is one year since we tragically lost Elena Baltacha, the former long-term British No.1 women’s tennis player who at the young age of 30 lost her battle to the worst type of liver cancer that generally affects only people older than 50. While Elena’s former students from the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis tied yellow ribbons around her hometown of Ipswich, I’d like to commemorate Elena by sharing with you these lovely childhood photos of the tennis star.

Elena Baltacha childhood photo with brother Sergei

Above is a five-year-old Elena, with her brother Sergei. How cute was she!

Elena Baltacha old family photo

Family together in Ipswich 1989, about the time when they moved from Ukraine to the UK, when her soccer-playing father joined Ipswich Town from Dynamo Kiev: six-year-old Elena, her brother Sergei (later became a pro soccer player), mother Olga (former Russian pentathlete) and father Sergei.

Elena’s mother came close to playing the Olympic Games, but missed out on the opportunity due to an injury, while Elena later fulfilled that dream, participating in the 2012 London Olympics, the experience which remained one of the highlights of her career.

Elena Baltacha childhood celebration photo with brother Sergei

A moment of celebration: Elena and her brother in June 1991.

I’d like to add a couple of quotes of Elena’s widower Nino Severino from a Daily Mail article, putting a better perspective on her success:

She had relatively little technical coaching yet she still made it into the Top 50 within a couple of years. I sometimes wonder what she could have done with a more technical coach and without a buggered liver.

All athletes have to deal with injuries and niggles, but when she had a week when she was feeling like an ordinary athlete, that was a luxury. She had problems with her back over a long period but by the end it was the liver that was affecting her.

Elena Baltacha RIP
Elena Baltacha Ceremony at last year’s Mutua Madrid Open

The latest news is that the winner’s silver bowl at the new WTA event called the Aegon Open, to be played at Nottingham Tennis Centre from June 6 to June 14, has been named the Elena Baltacha Trophy(photos via Daily Mail, Emily’s Twitter, Jimmie48)


  1. Elena Baltacha is one of the trailblazers in British Tennis. Her contributions are remarkable. I hope young tennis players emulate her success in the court.

  2. Emman Damian, and she was so brave and persevering. Imagine how many health problems she managed to endure, I mean, she played high-level tennis shorty before dying. R.I.P. Elena!


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