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Jana Novotna: Former Wimbledon champion dies aged 49

Jana Novotna after winning the Ladies Final match at Wimbledon in 1998. Credit: PA

Former Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna has died, aged 49.

Novotna "died peacefully, surrounded by her family" after a "long battle with cancer", the Women's Tennis Association said.

The Czech player had lost in the Wimbledon final in 1993 and 1997 before famously clinching victory against Frenchwoman Nathalie Tauziat in the 1998 Grand Slam tournament.

Steve Simon, WTA CEO, said: "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."

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Novotna won 17 Grand Slam titles, including 12 in doubles and four in mixed doubles. She was a three-time Olympic medalist and a member of her country’s victorious Fed Cup championship team in 1988.

She also won 24 WTA singles titles in 14 years on the professional women’s circuit, along with 76 doubles titles.

She was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 2005 and transitioned into professional coaching in recent years.