British Media Pays Tribute To Baltacha
Published May 07, 2014 12:12
In a sport where words like 'bravery' and 'courage' are bandied around with abandon, it takes the loss of someone like Elena Baltacha to highlight the trivial nature of winning and losing.
Baltacha was one of life's true fighters, overcoming a chronic liver condition and several serious injuries to carve out a decade-long career competing at the top. Since her death in the early hours of Sunday morning, tributes have flooded in from around the world, with a number of poignant messages from some of the players, coaches and journalists that knew her best.
"Bally will be sorely missed. She was one of the best tennis players Scotland has ever produced and one of the sport's finest ambassadors. In her life, as in her tennis, she never let anyone down."
Kheredine Idessane, BBC Scotland
"Even on a sad day when sport is relegated to the margins, it is important to recognise what a fine player Baltacha was, and she does leave a legacy to the game she enriched in this country."
Mike Dickson, Daily Mail
"I don't have the words to say what an incredible person Bally was, how loved she was or what an inspiration she will continue to be to everyone who met her."
Judy Murray, Great Britain Fed Cup captain
"For all her achievements as the best British player of her generation, the former World No.49 will be remembered above all for her generous spirit and for her determination to fight the odds despite the numerous physical setbacks she suffered in her tragically short life."
Paul Newman, The Independent
"Elena Baltacha was a great fighter on the tennis court. We as tennis players always worry about our bodies, trying to keep injuries at bay. But cancer - you can't prevent that and you can't rehab it either and no matter how much of a fighter you are, sometimes cancer wins. Elena was taken from the world much too soon - fighting to the end, and we will miss her."
"She might have been a kind, friendly and irrepressibly positive 'warrior', but Baltacha's aggressive baseline style reflected an inner steel that pulled her through far more serious matters than tennis matches."
Piers Newbery, BBC Sport
"This day is full of powerful and painful emotions. Elena was a fighter. This is what I like and we should on this day remember all the qualities she possessed and what she did for tennis in Britain. This we cannot forget."
"No one worked harder to achieve their potential; no one rebounded from adversity so well. Having had the pleasure to cover the second half of Baltacha's career, for Scottish newspaper, The Herald, I was lucky enough to interview "Bally" several times and every single interview would leave you with a smile. In a world of sponsors and agents, niceties and platitudes, Baltacha was genuine, kind, warm and generous."
Simon Cambers, The Tennis Space