Czech tennis champion Jana Novotna has died at the age of 49, after a long battle with cancer.
The announcement was made on twitter by the Women’s Tennis Association, which specified that she died peacefully, surrounded by her family in the Czech Republic.
WTA (@WTA) November 20, 2017
A popular player
Novotna first stole the hearts of sport fans around the world when she narrowly lost the 1993 Wimbledon final to Steffi Graf, and was consoled by a duchess after bursting into tears on court.
A shoulder to cry on. The defining image of Jana Novotna. So very sad, so very young. RIP pic.twitter.com/tXV899vShR— Jake Humphrey (@mrjakehumphrey) November 20, 2017
A further attempt at the grass title failed against Martina Hingis in 1997, but Novotna came back to defeat her Swiss opponent the following year, winning Wimbledon in 1998.
That proved to be her only singles grand slam victory, but she had 16 doubles and mixed doubles grand slam wins to her name. She was also a three-times Olympic medallist for her country.