Duchess of Kent pays tribute to "brave" former Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna

Media reports on 20 November 2017 state that Jana Novotna died at the age of 49.

Former Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna has died, aged 49.

Novotna, who won 24 singles titles in her career, had lost in the Wimbledon final in 1993 and 1997 before becoming the oldest first-time Grand Slam champion in the Open era by beating Nathalie Tauziat in the 1998 final of the third major of the season.

"I am very saddened by the news of her death and all my feelings are with her family". Novotna manifested the final words players see before they step foot on Centre Court, meeting with triumph and disaster just the same.

She came to the attention of the British public in 1993 when she featured in one of the most enduring images in the long history of Wimbledon as she was famously consoled by the royal after losing the 1993 final to Steffi Graf, having led the final set. "Wimbledon will not be the same without her".

Novotna won 17 Grand Slam titles, including 12 in doubles and four in mixed doubles.

Jana Novotna. Will always be my childhood hero! She was a three-time Olympic medalist and a member of her country's victorious Fed Cup championship team in 1988.

Novotna will be missed throughout the entire tennis community, one of the warmest and most beloved players of her generation gone too soon, and the team at 10sBalls sends our thoughts and prayers to her family and friends during this hard time.

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