Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Martina Hingis & other ATP/WTA stars 'Rally for Bally'

Fifteen time Grand Slam champion Martina Hingis, double Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka and British No.1 Heather Watson will join a host of stars taking part in the Rally For Bally on Sunday as some of the biggest names in tennis join together for three star-studded exhibition matches in London, Birmingham and Eastbourne.

The Rally for Bally is a national fundraising effort in memory of former British No.1 Elena Baltacha, known as Bally, who died of liver cancer on 4th May. All funds raised will be split equally between the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and the Elena Baltacha Foundation, the charity attached to the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis which Bally set up to help children from all backgrounds play tennis.

Hingis, who was ranked No.1 in the world and won five Grand Slam singles titles as well as nine in doubles and one in mixed doubles, joins an incredible line-up at The Queen’s Club, where Andy Murray and Aegon Championships Tournament Director Ross Hutchins will lead ‘Team Andy’ and ‘Team Ross’. Hingis, Azarenka and Watson will be joined by Murray’s fellow Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli who has already been announced. Laura Robson, Watson’s Fed Cup team-mate, is injured and unable to play but will be on court helping to MC the match.

“I am so happy to be involved in the Rally For Bally because I think it’s going to be a very special day for everyone in tennis,” said Hingis. “The loss of Elena was very sad and it touched everyone inside and outside of tennis but it’s great that everyone in her sport is pulling together like this. It’s the perfect way to remember her and also to raise money for causes that mattered to her.”

Victoria Azarenka added: “Elena was one of us. I will always remember our matches, what a fighter she was and how much she loved tennis. We will always miss her. The whole of the tennis world is together in the Rally For Bally, to try to raise as much money as possible for the Academy that she was so passionate about, and to fund the on-going fight against cancer.”

The Aegon Classic in Birmingham and the Aegon International in Eastbourne also boast dazzling line-ups of past and current players. Martina Navratilova, winner of a staggering 59 Grand Slam titles in singles, doubles and mixed doubles, will be joined by former British No.1s Tim Henman and Anne Keothavong and former Wimbledon mixed doubles champion Jamie Murray.

Former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and fellow WTA player Agnieszka Radwanska – who will be seeded one and two for the Aegon International will be joined on court in Eastbourne by former British No.1 Greg Rusedski and current British No. 1 in doubles Colin Fleming.

Players involved in the Rally For Bally on Sunday, across all three venues:

The Queen’s Club, London:

· Andy Murray

· Ross Hutchins

· Martina Hingis

· Marion Bartoli

· Victoria Azarenka

· Heather Watson

· Laura Robson

Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham:

· Martina Navratilova

· Tim Henman

· Jamie Murray

· Anne Keothavong

Devonshire Park, Eastbourne:

· Petra Kvitova

· Agnieszka Radwanksa

· Greg Rusedski

· Colin Fleming

Rally for Bally match start times:

· Queen’s: 2nd on after 2pm start (singles final first)

· Birmingham: 3rd on after 11am start

· Eastbourne: 3rd on after 11am start


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