Jana Novotna, Czech Winner of Wimbledon, Dies at 49

Jana Novotna, Czech Winner of Wimbledon, Dies at 49

Jana Novotna, Czech Winner of Wimbledon, Dies at 49

Former Wimbledon champ loses battle to cancer at the age of 49 Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna was a true victor but it was the misfortune of the brilliant Czech, who died on Monday aged 49, to always be recalled for one of sport's most famous and heart-rending meltdowns despite her collection of 100 tennis titles. It is known that the tennis player was sick with cancer, and died at home, in the Czech Republic, surrounded by his loved ones. - "Always the champion" - "Jana was as kind as she was athletic, as smart as she was competitive".

She won the hearts of fans around the world when she burst into tears after throwing away victory against Steffi Graf in the 1993 final when on the verge of victory and was consoled afterwards by the Duchess of Kent.

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

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

Her career intrinsically linked with Wimbledon, Novotna was also paid a tribute by SW19 in a statement that read: "The All England Club is deeply saddened to hear the news of Jana Novotna's passing". 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.

Jana Novotna dead aged just 49 after ex-Wimbledon champion's lengthy battle with cancer
Jana Novotna Dead: Wimbledon Champion Dies at 49

WTA chief executive Steve Simon said: "Jana was an inspiration both on and off court to anyone who had the opportunity to know her".

Novotna won 500 career singles matches, making her the 15th woman in the Open Era to accomplish the feat.

The pair had also won silver together at the 1988 Olympics and that same year were members of Czechoslovakia's Fed Cup team which defeated the Soviet Union. She will be always the champion for me. "Unfortunately, she started playing better and I did not. Thoughts and Prayers with Jana's family".

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

Jan Novotny was in the hall of fame of tennis in 2005.

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