Elena Baltacha diagnosed with liver cancer: Former British number one admits she is 'fighting with everything I have'

Former British number one retired in November and was originally diagnosed with primary sclerosing cholangitis as a 19-year-old

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The Independent Online

Former British number one Elena Baltacha has been diagnosed with cancer of the liver.

The 30-year-old said in a statement: "I have recently been diagnosed with cancer of the liver.

"I'm currently undergoing treatment and fighting this illness with everything I have."

Baltacha was diagnosed at the age of 19 with primary sclerosing cholangitis, a chronic liver condition which compromises the immune system.

Ukraine-born, she won 11 singles titles, reached the third round of Wimbledon in 2002 and the same stage of the Australian Open in 2005 and 2010.

Son of former Ipswich, St Mirren and Inverness footballer Sergei, she reached a career-high ranking of 49 in 2010 and was British number one for 132 weeks between 2009 and 2012.

However, she struggled with injury and illness during her career and retired from the sport in November last year.

The statement continued: "Elena and her husband Nino would like to thank everyone for their continued support."