Break Points: Remembering Elena Baltacha

Notable Results:

Oeiras F: Carlos Berlocq d. Tomas Berdych, 0-6, 7-5, 6-1
Oeiras F: Carla Suarez Navarro d. Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4
Munich F: Martin Klizan d. Fabio Fognini, 2-6, 6-1, 6-2
Madrid R1: Lucie Safarova d. Flavia Pennetta, 1-6, 6-0, 6-3
Madrid R1: Caroline Garcia d. Angelique Kerber, 6-3, 2-0 (ret.)
Madrid R1: Sam Stosur d. Dominika Cibulkova, 6-4, 6-0

News and Analysis:

Simon Cambers pays tribute to Elena Baltacha, who passed away from liver cancer at the age of 30:

Having been diagnosed with a chronic liver disease when just 19, Baltacha managed illness and injury throughout her career but she never let things get her down, always using them as a tool to push herself on, always thinking the best was around the corner.

And so it was. A career-high ranking of 49, 11 ITF titles, four WTA quarter-finals, three times into the last 32 at a grand slam, an outstanding Fed Cup record of 33 wins and 16 losses from 39 ties and three victories over top-10 players, including Li Na, all came, thanks to her sheer determination and drive, more than making up for the fact – as she would happily admit – that she was not blessed with the talent of many others.

No one worked harder to achieve their potential; no one rebounded from adversity so well. Having had the pleasure to cover the second half of Baltacha’s career, for Scottish newspaper, The Herald, I was lucky enough to interview “Bally” several times and every single interview would leave you with a smile. In a world of sponsors and agents, niceties and platitudes, Baltacha was genuine, kind, warm and generous.

Andy Murray, Martina Navratilova, and Tim Henman will participate in an exhibition fundraiser, “Rally for Bally. Proceeds will go to The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and The Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis.

Mike Dickson also has a nice tribute to Baltacha for the Daily Mail.

Benoit Paire continues to suffer from knee pain, per a translation of a TennisActu article.

Do you think you’ll be able to play at Roland-Garros?

I was hoping to make a fresh start on clay, but I’m still in pain. At the moment, I don’t know if I’ll play Roland-Garros. I am simply trying to heal my knee. I’m just looking forward to being able to play tennis normally again. I’m going to get injections near the tendon, and I know that I’ll be walking with crutches for 6 days after that. If that doesn’t work, I’ll get surgery, and I’d be out of the game for 4 months.

So surgery is a real option?

Yes, surgery has become a possibility. There’s an area which doesn’t heal and that hasn’t got better at all during the past month and a half. I’ve met with surgeons, all the best doctors. I’m doing lots of things, I’m not just sitting around on the couch. It’s a complicated injury, no one knows what to do. I listen and do what I’m told. At the moment, it’s not paying off, I just hope it will eventually work so I can come back stronger. It’s difficult for me, right now, I’m trying to cope, but it isn’t easy.

Andy Ram announced his retirement.

Jeff Sackmann took a look at some statistical quirks in Munich and Oeiras.

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