Wimbledon won't be same without 'courageous' Jana

Paola Ditto
Novembre 22, 2017

THE Duchess of Kent has paid tribute to Jana Novotna following the former Wimbledon champion's death from cancer, saying the championships "will not be the same without her".

The death of women tennis champion of the past Jana Novotna came at a time when the world is beaming with joy celebrating the success of women in tennis circuit. I am gutted and beyond words.

"I am gutted and beyond words - Jana was a true friend and an awesome woman".

Novotna won the 1998 women's singles at Wimbledon, beating Nathalie Tauziat in the final, to then become the oldest first-time Grand Slam champion in the Open era.

The 1993 loss to Steffi Graf at Wimbledon was particularly painful for Novotna, who wasted a commanding lead in the decisive third set.

Novotna proved her right by winning the crown in 1998, after another final defeat in 1997. At the time, she was the oldest first-time victor of a Grand Slam singles title at age 29. "Our condolences and our thoughts are with Jana's family".

She also won all four Grand Slams in the doubles competition. "It's so sad when someone so young dies". With 24 singles title and 76 doubles title in a career spanning 13 years is a significant one. She was a prolific and top-ranked doubles player, collecting 16 slam titles in doubles and mixed doubles.

She won three Olympic medals - silver in the doubles at the 1988 Seoul Games and silver again in the doubles and bronze in the singles in Atlanta in 1996.

"Jana was an inspiration both on and off court to anyone who had the opportunity to know her", WTA chief executive Steve Simon said. "Her star will always shine brightly in the history of the WTA". "A day without it would be awful".

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