• Java Novotna (Image Source: Google)

    Prague, Nov 20 (IANS) Former Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna passed away at her home in the Czech Republic on Monday following a long battle with cancer. She was 49.

    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.

    A statement from the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) read: “After a long battle with cancer, Jana died peacefully, surrounded by her family in her native Czech Republic, aged 49.”

    She also won all four Grand Slams in the doubles competition. She won the Australian Open doubles crown twice, while she had a hat-trick of French Open and US Open doubles titles to her name too.

    She was a silver medallist in doubles at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and 1996 Atlanta Games. She also won the bronze in singles in the 1996 Olympics.

    Novotna also reached No.2 in the singles rankings, and No.1 in doubles and retired in 1999 before being inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 2005.

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    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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