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By Chris Oddo | Monday November 20, 2017

Jana Novotna

The tennis world mourns the passing of Czech legend and Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna.

Photo Source: AFP

Jana Novotna, a Czech tennis legend and former Wimbledon champion, has passed away at the age of 49. She died of cancer, surrounded by family in the Czech Republic, according to a statement released by WTATennis.com. Novotna, a former World No.1 doubles and World No.2 singles player, will forever remembered for wearing her heart on her sleeve and rising above difficult circumstances to earn one of the most celebrated Wimbledon titles in tennis history.

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She lost the Wimbledon final to Steffi Graf in 1993 and cried on the shoulder of the Duchess of Kent on Centre Court after the final. The Duchess reportedly told Novotna that she’d win the title one day—and she did. Novotna won 17 Grand Slam titles in total, including her widely celebrated 1998 Wimbledon singles title, when she defeated Nathalie Tauziat of France.

The Czech was a doubles master, winning 12 of her major titles in doubles and another four in mixed. She was also a three-time Olympic medalist and a winner of the Fed Cup in 1998.

Novotna retired with 100 career titles—76 in doubles and 24 in singles. She was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 2005.

Her passing was mourned by the tennis community on social media. "Jana was an inspiration both on and off court to anyone who had the opportunity to know her,” WTA CEO Steve Simon said in a statement. “Her star will always shine brightly in the history of the WTA. Our condolences and our thoughts are with Jana’s family."


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