Czech Republic: Czech Republic born former Wimbledon singles champion Jana Novotna has died at the age of 49. The shocking news was confirmed by the World Tennis Association (WTA) on Monday.
“After a long battle with cancer, Jana died peacefully, surrounded by her family in her native Czech Republic, aged 49,” the WTA said in a statement. Novotna who retired in 1999, a year after claiming the prestigious Wimbledon singles title.
Her highly successful career spanned 14 years in which Novotna picked up 100 titles including 76 doubles crowns.
The highlight of her singles career came in 1998 when she defeated Nathalie Tauziat to win the Wimbledon women’s singles title after previously failing at the competition’s final in both 1997 and 1993 tournaments.
Moreover, Novotna claimed 12 Grand Slam women’s doubles titles, which included victories at each of the four majors.
“Jana was an inspiration both on and off court to anyone who had the opportunity to know her,” WTA CEO Steve Simon said. “Her star will always shine brightly in the history of the WTA. Our condolences and our thoughts are with Jana’s family.”