NOTTINGHAM, England - On the one-year anniversary of the death of Elena Baltacha, the Lawn Tennis Association announced that the winner's trophy for the Aegon Open Nottingham will be named after the former British No.1.
Baltacha won two of her 11 ITF Circuit career titles on the lawns of the Nottingham Tennis Center, which will host the inaugural Aegon Open Nottingham this June. The second of these Nottingham triumphs came less than a year before Baltacha lost her short battle with liver cancer, aged 30.
"The loss of our darling Bally is a heartbreak that will never go away. It's very touching that the British Tennis family is remembering her this way. We're all working together to keep her legacy alive through the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis and getting more kids of all backgrounds playing tennis," Baltacha's husband, Nino Severino, said.
Judy Murray, Great Britain's Fed Cup Captain, added, "This is a wonderful way to remember Bally. She was one of the best competitors I ever saw and had a lot of success at the Nottingham event. I know she would be thrilled with this."
Baltacha's former Fed Cup teammate Heather Watson will be among the players competing for the newly commissioned trophy - a sterling silver art nouveau bowl - at the tournament which runs from June 6-14.