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Former Wimbledon Champ Novotna Dies At The Age Of 49

This file photo taken on July 4, 1998 shows Czech Republic's Jana Novotna enjoying her championship trophy after winning the final of the women's singles at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships. PHOTO/AFP
This file photo taken on July 4, 1998 shows Czech Republic's Jana Novotna enjoying her championship trophy after winning the final of the women's singles at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships. PHOTO/AFP

PRAGUE, Czech Republic- Former Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna has died at the age of 49 after suffering from cancer, the WTA said on Monday.

Novotna, who won the Wimbledon title in 1998 when she defeated France’s Nathalie Tauziat in the final, died on Sunday in her native Czech Republic surrounded by her family, a WTA statement said.

She played in two other Wimbledon singles finals, losing to Steffi Graf in 1993 and to Martina Hingis in 1997.

Novotna also won four Wimbledon doubles titles with compatriot Helena Sukova in 1989 and 1990, with Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario in 1995 and with Hingis in 1998.

Wearing her distinctive headband, she won doubles titles at all four Grand Slam tournaments.

Born on October 2, 1968, Novotna won a total of 24 singles tournaments and 76 doubles tournaments in her career that spanned from 1987 to 1999.

She also won the Fed Cup with the former Czechoslovakia in 1988.

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