Late Jana
Photo: Daily Express

Ex-Wimbledon champion, Jana Novotna has died of cancer at the age of 49.

She was said to have died peacefully, with her family surrounding her, Women’s Tennis Association, WTA, said on Monday.

Novotna had won the Wimbledon title in 1998 after defeating Nathalie Tauziat in the final.

According to the BBC, Novotna captured the hearts of fans when she burst into tears after losing to German great Steffi Graf in 1993 and was consoled by the Duchess of Kent.

WTA Chief Executive, Steve Simon described Novotna as inspirational both on and off court to anyone who had the opportunity to know her.

He said her star would always shine brightly in the history of the WTA and expressed condolence to the deceased family.

BBC reports that in addition to her only singles Grand Slam win at Wimbledon, she claimed 12 Grand Slam doubles titles and four in mixed doubles and was was also inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 2005.