Jana Novotna, former Wimbledon tennis champion, dies aged 49


Czech tennis star Jana Novotna, who won the 1998 Wimbledon title, has died at the age of 49 after a long fight with cancer.

Ms. Novotna famously cried on the Duchess of Kent's shoulder in 1993 after losing the women's singles final at Wimbledon.

Novotna, who entered the tennis Hall of Fame in 2005, died surrounded by her family in the Czech Republic, the WTA said.

Altogether, Novotna won 17 Grand Slam titles, including 12 in doubles and four in mixed doubles.

Former U.S. Open finalist Pam Shriver said on Twitter: "Jana was as kind as she was athletic, as smart as she was competitive". Her passing was today confirmed in a statement by the WTA.

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WTA chief Steve Simon expressed his condolences to Novotna's family, adding that her star will never dim in annals of tennis history.

Novotna had a spectacular career, but is arguably best-remembered for completing one of the most wonderful arcs ever seen at SW19. But it was the highlight of her singles career that came to define her.

Her pinnacle was her victory at Wimbledon in 1998, her penultimate season as a professional.

She was a silver medallist in doubles at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and 1996 Atlanta Games. Best of all, it played on fast courts, 17 times the athlete became the victor in the Championships Grand slam.

She mentored players such as 2013 Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli and fellow Czech Barbora Krejcikova.