Former Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna dies at the age of 49 after long battle with cancer

New Delhi: Former Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna has died at the age of 49 after a prolonged fight with cancer. Hailing from Czech Republic, Novotna, in her 14-year career, won 24 WTA singles and 76 doubles titles.

Czech Republic's Jana Novotna enjoys her championship trophy after beating Nathalie Tauziat in the final of the 1998 women's singles Wimbledon final. AFP

Czech Republic's Jana Novotna enjoys her championship trophy after beating Nathalie Tauziat in the final of the 1998 women's singles Wimbledon final. AFP

Women's Tennis Association (WTA) released a statement on their website confirming her demise. The statement reads, "Jana died peacefully, surrounded by her family in her native Czech Republic."

Novotna reached two Wimbledon finals in 1993 and 1997 before clinching it in 1998, beating France's Nathalie Tauzia in straight sets. Apart from her solitary singles' Slam, she won 12 majors in doubles and four in mixed-doubles.

Novotna also has three Olympic medals — silver in women's doubles event at the 1988 Seoul Games,  silver in the women's doubles at the 1996 Atlanta Games and a bronze in mixed-doubles event in the same Games.

She was also a member of her country’s victorious Fed Cup championship team in 1988.

Novotna captured the hearts of many when she wept incessantly after her 1993 Wimbledon defeat to German great Steffi Graf and she had to be consoled by the Duchess of Kent. She was known for her aggressive serve and volley game and achieved a career-high singles ranking of number two.


Updated Date: Nov 20, 2017 16:16 PM

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