From a sporting family, her father Serhiy Baltacha played football for the Soviet Union whilst her mother was an athlete specialising in the pentathlon. She was born in Kyiv but moved to Britain at the age of 2 when her father signed to play for Ipswich Town. Baltacha grew up in Perth, Scotland after her father joined St. Johnstone and considered herself Scottish.
She reached the top of the British rankings as a junior and reached the third round of Wimbledon at the age of eighteen in 2002. After reaching the number one spot in the senior British rankings, her career stalled in 2003 due to illness and she underwent surgery. This determined that she had Primary sclerosing cholangitis, a disease of the liver, and she received treatment for the rest of the life. By 2006 she was on the verge of breaking into the top 100 rankings when a prolapsed disc again meant that her career was interrupted again.
The best period of her career came between 2009 and 2011 where she rose to a best ever position of 49th in the WTA world rankings and won her greatest tournament victory namely the Aegon Nottingham Challenge in 2011. Baltacha was also a fixture in the British Fed Cup team between 2002 and 2013. She failed to recover from a knee injury and retired from the sport at the end of 2013.
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