I was really saddened to hear the news last month that Elena Baltacha was battling liver cancer. I always admired Bally as a tennis player for her terrific attitude and determination on court, and how much she achieved in her tennis career. It was confirmed today that there will be three mixed doubles matches during the 2014 grass court season at Queens, Birmingham and Eastbourne to raise money for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis (EBAT). The money raised will be split between the two charities.
The line-up will include a mixed doubles match at each of the AEGON events in the UK. This will include the following players:
AEGON Championships, Queens: Andy Murray, Ross Hutchins, TBC and TBC
AEGON Classic, Birmingham: Tim Henman, Jamie Murray, Martina Navratilova and Anne Keothavong
AEGON International, Eastbourne: Greg Rusedski, Jonny Marray, TBC and TBC
Laura Robson, Heather Watson and Johanna Konta will also be involved in the mixed doubles events. Their participation will be confirmed closer to the staging of the event, most likely depending on their progression in the grass court draws. The matches at Queens and Birmingham will take place on their finals day (15th of June) and the one in Eastbourne will take place before the main tournament kicks off. I think this is a fantastic idea to get behind Bally, particularly after the tremendous success of the Rally Against Cancer event held after the 2013 Queens final for Ross Hutchins.
Full details from the announcement on the British Tennis website can be found HERE
You can make a donation towards this very worthy cause HERE.