Former top-50 tennis player Elena Baltacha, who had been fighting liver cancer since retiring from the game, died Sunday at 30.
Baltacha was diagnosed with the illness in January, two months after retiring from tennis and only weeks after she married her longtime coach Nino Severino.
"We are heartbroken beyond words at the loss of our beautiful, talented and determined Bally," Severino said in a statement, according to the Associated Press. "She was an amazing person and she touched so many people with her inspirational spirit, her warmth and her kindness."
Really sad to hear the news of Elena Baltacha. My thoughts are with her family and friends.— Aga Radwanska (@ARadwanska) May 5, 2014
On the WTA official site, Chairman & CEO Stacey Allaster released a statement on her passing:
"We are deeply grieved to lose our friend Elena Baltacha in her battle with cancer. Elena's journey was never an easy one and yet she consistently showed her strength, good humor and indomitable spirit."
Baltacha reached her highest ranking in 2010, moving to 49th in the world. She reached the third round at Wimbledon in 2002, and at the Australian Open in 2005 and 2010.