Former Wimbledon champion and World No 2 Jana Novotna passed away on Sunday (Nov 19). She was just 49. Reports say that the legendary tennis player died peacefully in her sleep. She had been suffering from cancer.

The Women’s Tennis Association stated “Novotna, who had cancer, died peacefully, surrounded by her family”.

“Jana was an inspiration both on and off court to anyone who had the opportunity to know her. Her star will always shine brightly in the history of the WTA. Our condolences and our thoughts are with Jana’s family,” said WTA CEO Steve Simon, BBC reported.

 

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The Czech Republic player had 17 Grand Slam titles in her name through her glorious career. This included 12 in doubles, four in mixed doubles. Her lone Grand Slam in singles came at Wimbledon in 1998. When the ace sportswoman beat Frenchwoman Nathalie Tauziat in the final, she became the last Czech player to win a Grand Slam until Petra Kvitova won in 2011.

In all, Novotna won 24 titles along with 76 titles in doubles in her 14 years of career. She played the Wimbledon final twice – in 1993 and 1997. Her true recognition came in 1998 when she won the Wimbledon singles.

She also bagged three Olympic medals – silver at 1988 Seoul Games, another silver at 1996 Atlanta Games and a bronze in singles at the same Summer Olympics.

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In the later part of her career, she turned coach, and then retired.

Tennis has lost a true legend!

Also Read: Ace Against Odds: The Sania Mirza Story

Feature Image Credit: skysports.com

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