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International Tennis Federation awards Elena Baltacha first Fed Cup Lifetime Achievement Heart Award

The International Tennis Federation has donated 10,000 US dollars to the Rally For Bally and awarded Elena Baltacha the first Fed Cup Lifetime Achievement Heart Award for her commitment to the competition.

Baltacha, who died of liver cancer last month aged 30, will be remembered at the Rally For Bally on June 15, when exhibition matches will be played at Queen's Club, Edgbaston and Eastbourne.

The ITF's donation has taken the money raised so far above £40,000, with funds to be shared between the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis and the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

Baltacha was a stalwart of Britain's Fed Cup team, winning 33 of her 49 matches and playing her last rubber in a World Group II play-off against Argentina in April 2013.

Baltacha's husband Nino Severino, who set up the academy with her, was at Roland Garros to see the cheque and a replica Fed Cup presented.

They were received by an emotional Judy Murray, Britain's Fed Cup captain, who said: "I can honestly say that you could not have asked for a better player to lead your team.

"She was a role model to the younger players, an amazing professional, selfless, humble and the heart of a lion.

"The funds will go into her academy so that we make sure we remember her and that we produce lots more fighters just like her."

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