Tennis Stars Rally For Bally
Published June 15, 2014 12:14
Rally For Bally exhibitions took place at three tournaments across the UK on Sunday, with the WTA stars out in full force for charity to honor their beloved fallen one, Britain's Elena Baltacha.
With all funds going towards causes dear to Baltacha - the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and the Elena Baltacha Foundation, the charity attached to the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis - the Rally For Bally raised money with exihibition matches featuring current and former tennis stars at the Aegon Classic in Birmingham, the Aegon International in Eastbourne and Aegon Championships in London.
The line-up at the Aegon Classic featured Martina Navratilova, Tim Henman, James Ward and Anne Keothavong, the line-up at the Aegon International featured Petra Kvitova, Agnieszka Radwanska, Greg Rusedski and Colin Fleming and the line-up at the Aegon Championships featured Andy Murray, Ross Hutchins, Martina Hingis, Jamie Murray, Victoria Azarenka, Heather Watson and Laura Robson.
"Obviously Bally's passing was incredibly sad but it's good that we're all coming together," Henman said from Birmingham. "I'm really pleased to be involved here in Edgbaston and to be supporting everything that's going on. These events were originally set up to lift Bally's spirits but with her passing we now want to make sure that there's a lasting legacy for Royal Marsden and for her Academy."
"It's fantastic the way that the tennis family is coming together to remember Bally and celebrate her life, as well as all of us trying to raise money for two fantastic causes," Keothavong, Baltacha's biggest contemporary in British women's tennis, said. "The Academy was Bally's passion and something she devoted a lot of time to. We need to pull together and help continue the work that she started there.
"Bally and I knew each other from a young age, from playing junior events and then being rivals and teammates in Fed Cup to playing doubles at the Olympics together," she added. "We went through a lot and it was devastating for all of us to lose her. She was someone who I really admired for her determination and her strength of character. I think everyone should take some inspiration from her.
"That's kind of what today is all about."
For more on Rally For Bally and to donate, please visit www.justgiving.com/RallyForBally.