Jana Novotna: Former Wimbledon champion dies aged 49

Former Wimbledon champion Novotna dies aged 49

Jana Novotna, the Czech tennis star who famously cried on the Duchess of Kent's shoulder after losing a Wimbledon singles final and then triumphed at the same tournament five years later, has died. Novotna was famous in part for winning Wimbledon in 1998, after losing in the United Kingdom tournament's final in 1993 and 1997.

Novotna, a former world number one in doubles and number two in singles, passed away peacefully on Sunday surrounded by her family, the WTA announced. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Jana Novotna has lost her battle with cancer.

The Duchess of Kent comforts Jana Novotna as she presents her with the runner up trophy on centre court at Wimbledon.

"I think everyone had a tear in their eye when she didn't win that first final against Steffi".

Czech-born Navratilova posted a tribute to Novotna on Twitter: "The tennis world is so sad about the passing of Jana Novotna.I am gutted and beyond words - Jana was a true friend and an incredible woman".

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Czech player Petra Kvitova wrote in an Instagram post: "Today we lost a wonderful person, a Czech who played attractive tennis, who inspired me and supported me". We have all been in that situation where you almost win but you can't quite do it and your opponent gets the better of you.

During an illustrious career, Novotna won 17 Grand Slam titles, including 12 in doubles and four in mixed doubles, and was a member of the Czech Republic's victorious 1998 Fed Cup team.

So, it seemed, was the whole of tennis as the woman who had come so close to the biggest prizes became the oldest first-time women's grand-slam singles victor in the Open era.

Novotna said the Duchess had told her "she would do it" when she went to collect her trophy.

"The thoughts of all those at Wimbledon are with her family and friends".

"Her star will always shine brightly in the history of the WTA".

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