Wimbledon Champion Jana Novotna passed away on Sunday morning after fighting a long battle with cancer.
The 49-year-old Czech tennis player won 17 Grand Slam titles throughout her career, including 12 in doubles and four in mixed doubles. She was most famously known for winning the title of the 1998 Wimbledon Ladies’ Singles Champion.
A statement on the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) website read:
“It is with deep sadness that the WTA announces the passing on Sunday, November 19, of Jana Novotna, the former WTA World No.1 doubles and No.2 singles champion. After a long battle with cancer, Jana died peacefully, surrounded by her family in her native Czech Republic, aged 49.”
Novotna won two silver medals for the Czech Republic, in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul and in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, where she also won a bronze. These were of the successes that gave Novotna a place in the International Tennis Hall of Fame, where she was inducted in 2005.
“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,” WTA CEO Steve Simon said.
Jana was as kind as she was athletic, as smart as she was competive. I can’t believe she is gone this soon. Her smile lives forever young.
— Pam Shriver (@PHShriver) November 20, 2017