‘Rally for Bally’ event all set for Devonshire Park

Elena Baltacha
Elena Baltacha

Andy Murray, Martina Navratilova, Greg Rusedski and Tim Henman will lead an all-star line up at exhibition matches in three of the country’s biggest tournaments as British Tennis stages a second Rally Against Cancer charity event - ‘Rally For Bally’ - on Sunday June 15.

The ‘Rally For Bally’ will feature three mixed doubles matches - one each on finals day at the Aegon International in Eastbourne, the Aegon Championships at The Queen’s Club and the Aegon Classic in Birmingham - with proceeds being split equally between the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis. Baltacha, or ‘Bally’ as she is known, revealed recently that she had been diagnosed with liver cancer.

Murray and Aegon Championships Tournament Director Ross Hutchins will play on opposing mixed doubles teams at The Queen’s Club, 18-time Grand Slam champion Martina Navratilova, Anne Keothavong, Tim Henman and Jamie Murray will play in Birmingham, and Greg Rusedski and Jonny Marray will be on opposite teams in Eastbourne.

Britain’s three highest ranked women, Laura Robson, Jo Konta and Heather Watson, will also take part, with the specific line-up of teams to be announced at a later date.

Judy Murray, the Great Britain Fed Cup captain, said, “Everyone in tennis knows and loves Bally and wants to help her, and sadly everyone’s life is touched by cancer at some stage, whether personally or through friends and family.

“The Royal Marsden helps so many people in that situation. Bally set up her charity to help kids from disadvantaged backgrounds learn to play tennis, which says a lot about her. It will mean the world to her to know that it is being supported as well.”

Navratilova, who battled and overcame breast cancer in 2010, said: “Cancer is an opponent that we all must fight against. My thoughts are with Elena and what she must be going through at this time.

“It is great that the tennis world is coming together to support her, and to rally against cancer.”

A Rally For Bally JustGiving page has been set up, and donations can be made quickly and easily here: www.justgiving.com/RallyForBally.

Any finals day tickets purchased for the Aegon Championships between now and the event will see an additional £10 charged and donated to the fund.

Tickets for the Aegon Championships will go on general sale today at 10am at www.aegonchampionships.com.