- The WTA announced Jana Novotna died peacefully surrounded by family
- Czech player won Wimbledon in 1998 having twice lost in the final in 1993, 1997
- She captured hearts of crowd after famously being consoled by Duchess of Kent
- WTA chief executive said: ‘Jana was an inspiration both on and off court’
Former Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna has died at the age of 49.
The Czech player lost her long battle with cancer and died peacefully surrounded by her family, according to the WTA.
Novotna claimed victory in the 1998 Wimbledon final having suffered defeats in 1993 and 1997.
Jana Novotna won the Wimbledon title in 1998 having twice lost in the final
Novotna was famously consoled by the Duchess of Kent after losing the 1993 final
‘Jana was an inspiration both on and off court to anyone who had the opportunity to know her,’ said WTA chief executive Steve Simon.
‘Her star will always shine brightly in the history of the WTA. Our condolences and our thoughts are with Jana’s family.’
Novotna captured the hearts of fans at SW16 after bursting into tears following her first defeat in the final to Steffi Graf in 1993.
She was famously consoled on Centre Court by the Duchess of Kent but congratulated by the royal after victory five years later.
Novotna achieved a career high ranking of world No 2 and is in the tennis Hall of Fame
The Duchess of Kent was also on hand to congratulate the Czech after winning
Novotna was known for her serve-volley prowess during her successful career
Novotna was known for her entertaining style of play and attacking approach with serve-volleying.
She achieved a career high ranking of world No 2 and was also inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 2005.
In the 1990s Novota reached the peak of her powers, reaching the final of the Australian Open once and the semi-finals of the French Open and US Open twice in addition to claiming the Wimbledon title.
Whilst Wimbledon was her only major singles title, the Czech also excelled on the doubles court, claiming 12 Grand Slam doubles titles and four in mixed doubles.
Novotna was known for her aggressive play and athleticism, particularly in doubles