Jana Novotna, Wimbledon Champion Tennis Player, Dies at 49

Czech athlete had been battling cancer

Jana Novotna, the Czech tennis player and former Wimbeldon champion, died Sunday at the age of 49.

Novotna died after a long battle with cancer, the Women’s Tennis Association announced early Monday.

In her 14-year professional career, the former WTA World No.1 doubles and No.2 singles champion won 24 WTA singles titles. She also won 76 doubles titles, many with tennis legend Martina Navratilova.

She reached the Wimbledon singles final twice, defeating French player Nathalie Tauziat to win the title in 1998.

Novotna had reached the Wimbledon final twice before, memorably blowing a big lead in the 1993 match to German Steffi Graf in the third set. In the award ceremony afterward, she cried on the shoulder of the Duchess of Kent.