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Tennis star's funeral

The funeral of former Suffolk tennis star Elena Baltacha takes place today. The former British number one died earlier this month after a short battle with liver cancer. She was 30. She will be laid to rest in a private service at the St Johns Church in Ipswich this afternoon.

Anyone for tennis?

Great British Tennis Weekends come to Essex
Great British Tennis Weekends come to Essex Credit: Press Association

Families across Essex are being offered free tennis sessions.

The first Great British Tennis Weekend events take place on 17th and 18th May with parks and clubs offering free events across the county.

For more details click here

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Baltacha happy with decision after announcing retirement

Ipswich tennis star Elena Baltacha has told the Lawn Tennis Association that "it feels like the right time" to being her tennis career to a close.

The former British number one announced her retirement from the sport with immediate effect this morning.

"It just feels it's the right time. My body has taken such a bruising over the last 16 years and that's finally taken its toll.

I have had some amazing experiences through playing tennis and I wouldn’t change any of them but now my mind and my body are telling me it’s time to move on to a new phase of my life.

I am very committed to my Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis (EBAT), which I started with my coach Nino Severino. We believe that no matter what background you are from, that all children, rich or poor, should have the opportunity to play tennis. "

– Elena Baltacha, former professional tennis player

Baltacha calls time on tennis career

Ipswich tennis star and former British number one Elena Baltacha has announced her retirement.
Ipswich tennis star and former British number one Elena Baltacha has announced her retirement. Credit: PA

Ipswich tennis star and former British number one Elena Baltacha has announced her retirement from professional tennis with immediate effect.

The 30-year-old broke into the world's top 50 at the height of her playing career back in 2010, but has struggled for form in recent times.

Baltacha hopes to remain in tennis, with her commitment now likely to be focussed on her tennis academy.

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Baltacha to return to professional tennis

Elena Baltacha confirms she will return to professional tennis
Elena Baltacha confirms she will return to professional tennis Credit: Press Association

Elena Baltacha has confirmed she will return to professional tennis within 2 weeks after recovering from injury problems.

She made her announcement during a coaching session in Suffolk, attended by Andy Murray's mum Judy, in support of Elena's EBAT charity which aims to make tennis more accessible.

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