IPSWICH, England - Great Britain's Elena Baltacha, who retired from her 16-year professional tennis career at the end of last year, announced on Friday that she is facing the biggest battle of her life.
"I have recently been diagnosed with cancer of the liver," Baltacha said in a statement.
"I'm currently undergoing treatment and fighting this illness with everything I have."
Baltacha remains optimistic and is currently looking at treatment options with her medical team.
"The WTA family sends its thoughts and prayers to Elena and her husband Nino at this difficult time," Stacey Allaster, the Chairman & CEO of the WTA, said of the announcement. "Throughout her tennis career, Elena was admired for her friendly personality, her passion, energy and tenacity. We know she will use these qualities to fight this illness and we'll support her along this process in any way we can."
At the end of last year, Baltacha announced her retirement from pro tennis after a 16-year career that saw her reach four WTA quarterfinals, score three Top 10 wins (one coming at Indian Wells) and reach the Top 50. She was also the British No.1 and represented Britain at the London Olympics.
I have some news to share with you: http://t.co/O6slwmq15m
— Elena (@ElenaBaltacha) March 7, 2014