LONDON, July 25 As she prepares for her Olympic
Games debut, British tennis player Elena Baltacha said she is
inspired by her footballer father Sergei's bronze medal more
than 30 years ago.
Baltacha's father, who played for Dynamo Kiev before
continuing his career in England with Ipswich Town, won his
medal as part of the Soviet Union side at the 1980 Moscow
"He said it was probably the most amazing experience he had
ever had in his life," the Ukranian-born British number four
told reporters at a Team GB tennis news conference at Wimbledon
where the tennis event begins on Saturday.
"He has shown me loads of pictures. He said it was just
unbelievable to be part of something that big."
"It is such a special occasion and he is just so proud that
I have managed to get my spot here," added the 28-year-old who
was knocked out in the second round of Wimbledon earlier this
month by defending champion Petra Kvitova.
Baltacha, who said her father would be following her efforts
on television, will get two chances to bring home a second medal
for the family, as she is playing in both the women's singles
event and the doubles with British number two Anne Keothavong.
"He said just try and experience everything you can while
you are in it and it will be something that you will never
forget," she said.
(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Martyn Herman)