Tennis stars come together for Rally for Bally

16 June 2014 / 12:17

Judy Murray expressed her delight as tennis stars past and present came together to remember Elena Baltacha on Sunday in the ‘Rally for Bally’.

Charity doubles matches were held at Eastbourne, Queen's Club and Birmingham in honour of the former British number one, who died from liver cancer in May at the age of 30.

Ross Hutchins, who successfully battled Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and reigning Wimbledon champion Andy Murray played against each other in the Queen's exhibition alongside Victoria Azarenka, Heather Watson, Martina Hingis and Jamie Murray.

At Eastbourne, Greg Rusedski, Colin Fleming, Agnieszka Radwanska and Petra Kvitova took part while in Birmingham,  Martina Navratilova teamed up with James Ward, Tim Henman and Anne Keothavong.

The money raised will be split between the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis – set up in Ipswich in 2010 to give girls from disadvantaged backgrounds the chance to play tennis.

And Murray, who was not only Baltacha’s Fed Cup captain but also a long-time friend, was delighted with how the ‘Rally for Bally’ panned out across the country.

"It's a very special day," she said. "Having one event at three venues in her honour is a big thing.

"The calibre and number of players who've come to support it is quite remarkable and I think that's just a sign of how highly she was regarded across the tennis world.

"Everybody remembers her spirit, maybe not everybody knew her quite so well as a person, how humble and kind and generous and funny she was. But as a competitor everybody respected her incredible fighting spirit.

"Everybody knows about the academy now and how much she wanted to give back to the game and how much she wanted to try to grow the game and create opportunities for kids who wouldn't otherwise have had the chance to play tennis.

"Those funds will be very well used to support the academy for many years, to make sure it goes from strength to strength and that we all remember her." 

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