Elena Baltacha
Elena Baltacha undergoing treatement for liver cancer.Reuters

Former British tennis No. 1 Elena Baltacha has been diagnosed with liver cancer.

The 30-year-old, who retired from competitive tennis to move into coaching last November, confirmed her illness through a statement on Friday afternoon.

"I have recently been diagnosed with cancer of the liver. I'm currently undergoing treatment and fighting this illness with everything I have," Baltacha said in a Lawn Tennis Association statement.

"Obviously this is a tough time for Bally, (husband) Nino and her family but she is a such a determined, upbeat person and everyone around her is staying positive as well," Britain's Fed Cup captain Judy Murray added.

Ukrainian-born Baltacha was diagnosed at the age of 19 with primary sclerosing cholangitis, a chronic liver condition which affects the immune system.

The Scot held the title of Britain's number one intermittently between 2002 and 2012 having achieved a career high ranking of 49 in 2010. She won 11 singles titles and reached the third round of Wimbledon in 2002 in addition to the same stage of the Australian Open in 2005 and 2005.

Upon her retirement she began working consistently with her academy founded alongside coach Nino Servino in 2012, wanting to dedicate herself to tennis beyond her playing career.

"I still absolutely love tennis and I want to take that passion and put it into learning to be the best coach I can be so that I can take all my experiences as a player and use that to help develop the next generation of British tennis players," she said.