Former British number one Baltacha battling cancer

Fri Mar 7, 2014 11:15am EST
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LONDON (Reuters) - Former British number one Elena Baltacha has been diagnosed with liver cancer, the Scot said on Friday.

"I have recently been diagnosed with cancer of the liver. I'm currently undergoing treatment and fighting this illness with everything I have," Baltacha, 30, said in a Lawn Tennis Association statement.

Baltacha, once ranked in the world's top 50, announced her retirement from competitive tennis in November.

"Obviously this is a tough time for Bally, (husband) Nino and her family but she is a such a determined, upbeat person and everyone around her is staying positive as well," Britain's Federation Cup captain Judy Murray said.

"I know she'll be really grateful for all the support that she's getting."

(Writing by Justin Palmer, editing by Ed Osmond)

Elena Baltacha of Britain follows through on a serve to Flavia Pennetta of Italy during their women's singles tennis match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London June 24, 2013. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett