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Jana Novotna Dead: Wimbledon Champion Dies at 49

Tennis star Jana Novotna died in her native Czech Republic on Sunday, November 19. She was 49.

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The Women’s Tennis Association shared the news in a statement. Novotna passed away “after a long battle with cancer” and was surrounded by her family when she died peacefully.

“Jana was an inspiration both on and off court to anyone who had the opportunity to know her,” Steve Simon, WTA CEO, 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.”

Jana Novotna Wimbledon win
Jana Novotna of the Czech Republic celebrates her victory over Venus Williams during the 1998 Wimbledon Championships played at Wimbledon in London on July 1, 1998.

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Novotna won 17 Grand Slam titles during her career and was a three-time Olympic medalist. She won 24 WTA singles titles, 76 double titles and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2005.

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Novotna retired in 1999 after 14 years on the court. She continued to be a commentator and coach for the sport and left Florida for her Czech hometown seven years ago.

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