'Rally For Bally' Set For June 15
Published April 16, 2014 12:12
The tennis community is uniting for a Rally Against Cancer charity event for the second straight year.
The 'Rally For Bally' will feature mixed doubles matches at three different venues on June 15 - finals day at the Aegon Championships at Queen's Club and the Aegon Classic in Birmingham, and ahead of the Aegon International in Eastbourne.
The proceeds will benefit the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and the Elena Baltacha Foundation. The Royal Marsden is a world-leading cancer center specializing in diagnosis, treatment, care, education and research. The Elena Baltacha Foundation is a charity set up in 2012 by Baltacha, who is battling liver cancer, and her husband to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds and deprived areas learn to play tennis.
ATP World Tour star Andy Murray and Aegon Championships Tournament Director Ross Hutchins will play on opposing mixed doubles teams at Queen's Club. WTA legend Martina Navratilova, former Top 50 British player Anne Keothavong, former ATP star Tim Henman and ATP doubles star Jamie Murray will play in Birmingham. Former ATP star Greg Rusedski and ATP doubles star Jonathan Marray will be on opposite teams in Eastbourne, with Britain's three highest ranked women, Laura Robson, Johanna Konta and Heather Watson, also taking part.
"Everyone in tennis knows and loves Bally and wants to help her, and sadly everyone's life is touched by cancer at some stage, whether personally or through friends and family," British Fed Cup captain Judy Murray said. "The Royal Marsden helps so many people in that situation. Bally set up her charity to help kids from disadvantaged backgrounds learn to play tennis, which says a lot about her. It will mean the world to her to know that is being supported as well."
"We are determined to do everything we can to raise as much money as possible both to fight against cancer and to support the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis, which means so much to Bally," said Hutchins, who underwent treatment for Hodgkins lymphoma last year and worked on a similar fundraising event at Queen's Club. "As soon as the news of Elena's diagnosis came out, everyone in British tennis, and indeed around the world, wanted to help, and that is shown by how quickly all the British players and players from around the world, including one of the all-time greats in Martina, wanted to be part of it. We will have all three of our recent Wimbledon champions - Andy and Jamie Murray, and Johnny Marray, one at each venue, and I hope everyone will get behind this cause in just the same way as last year."
"Cancer is an opponent that we all must fight against," said Navratilova, who battled and overcame breast cancer in 2010. "My thoughts are with Elena and what she must be going through at this time. It is great that the tennis world is coming together to support her, and to rally against cancer. Let's try to raise as much money as possible."
Click here to donate to the Rally For Bally.