Former tennis champion Jana Novotna has died of cancer at the age of 49.
The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) said Jana Novotna “died peacefully, surrounded by her family”.
She had lost in the Wimbledon final in 1993 and 1997 before winning the Grand Slam tournament when she beat Nathalie Tauziat in 1998.
The Czech player captured the hearts of fans when she burst into tears after losing to Steffi Graf in 1993 and was consoled by the Duchess of Kent.
Image source Wikipedia
WTA chief executive Steve Simon 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.”
Jana Novotna was renowned for her serve and volley game and achieved a career-high singles ranking of No 2.
In addition to her only singles Grand Slam win at Wimbledon, Jana Novotna claimed 12 Grand Slam doubles titles and four in mixed doubles.
Jana Novotna was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 2005.
Marion Bartoli announces she is retiring from tennis just 40 days after winning her only Grand Slam title.
The 28-year-old Wimbledon champion, ranked seventh in the world, said she was taking the decision with immediate effect because of persistent injuries.
Marion Bartoli made the tearful announcement at a media conference following defeat by Simona Halep at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati.
“It’s time for me to retire and to call it a career,” she told reporters.
“I feel it’s time for me to walk away.”
Marion Bartoli, who beat Germany’s Sabine Lisicki in the Wimbledon final in July, said her Achilles, shoulder, hip and lower back hurt continually when she plays.
She added: “It’s never easy… but that was actually the last match of my career. I just can’t do it anymore.”
After her 6-1 6-4 win at Wimbledon, Marion Bartoli hinted that the physical demands of the sport were taking their toll.
Marion Bartoli announces she is retiring from tennis just 40 days after winning her only Grand Slam title
“That was probably the last little bit of something that was left inside me,” she said on Wednesday.
The 2007 Wimbledon runner-up had won her first Grand Slam at the 47th attempt – the longest wait in women’s tennis before a maiden Grand Slam.
Marion Bartoli had returned from her Wimbledon triumph to play in Toronto last week and was playing her first match in Cincinnati having received a first-round bye.
However, the 3-6 6-4 6-1 loss to Simona Halep appears to have been the last straw.
“It’s been a tough decision to take,” she added.
“I’ve been a tennis player for a long time and I had the chance to make my biggest dream a reality.
“You know, everyone will remember my Wimbledon title. No-one will remember the last match I played here.
“I made my dream a reality and it will stay forever with me, but now my body just can’t cope with everything.”
WTA chairman and chief executive Stacey Allaster paid tribute to Marion Bartoli’s “long, successful career”.
“She is an inspirational champion and a great ambassador for women’s tennis who has dedicated her life to the sport and given so much back to the game,” she said.
“I am so proud of her for who she is, her values and for fighting to realize her dream of winning Wimbledon.”