WTA Rallies Behind Rally For Bally
Published June 11, 2014 12:15
ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA - The WTA is encouraging tennis fans worldwide to pledge their support for fundraising efforts for Rally For Bally, a series of exhibitions taking place this Sunday in memory of Elena Baltacha, affectionately known as "Bally" by her friends and those within the tennis community.
The Rally For Bally will feature current stars and legends including Andy Murray, Martina Navratilova, Marion Bartoli, Agnieszka Radwanska and Petra Kvitova playing in mixed doubles matches across Great Britain at the Aegon Championships at Queen's Club, the Aegon Classic in Birmingham and the Aegon International in Eastbourne. All funds raised will go to the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and Elena Baltacha Foundation, the charity attached to the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis.
"Rally For Bally is a great way to celebrate the never ending contributions Elena Baltacha has made to the game of tennis," Stacey Allaster, the Chairman & CEO of the WTA, said about Sunday's events.
"The WTA family is committed to keeping Bally's dream, memory and legacy alive and through our efforts we hope to mobilize our fan base to give generously to this vitally important cause."
In addition to Rally for Bally, the WTA fundraising initiative will see players, tournaments and staff worldwide donating directly to the Elena Baltacha Foundation, the charity founded four years ago to give more children from all backgrounds the opportunity to play tennis. WTA players will have the opportunity to donate a percentage of their prize money at this week's grass court event in Birmingham, as well as upcoming grass court events in Eastbourne, 's-Hertogenbosch and Wimbledon.
Baltacha, a former British No.1, was diagnosed with liver cancer just two months after retiring from professional tennis and just a few weeks after marrying longtime coach and partner Nino Severino.
The former British No.1 succumbed to the disease on May 4, 2014, at 30 years of age.
Fans worldwide can donate to Rally for Bally by visiting www.justgiving.com/rallyforbally.