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Jana Novotná, ‘Acrobatic Athlete’ Who Won 17 Grand Slams, Dies At 49

Jana Novotná unloads a backhand during a finals of a 1997 Chase Championships, that she eventually won. Novotna, who also would go on to win Wimbledon in 1998, died Sunday during age 49.

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Jana Novotná unloads a backhand during a finals of a 1997 Chase Championships, that she eventually won. Novotna, who also would go on to win Wimbledon in 1998, died Sunday during age 49.

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Jana Novotná, a Czech tennis star who took home 17 Grand Slams opposite a camber of her career, died Sunday during a age of 49. The Women’s Tennis Association announced a news “with low sadness” on Monday, observant Novotná died surrounded by family in a Czech Republic after waging “a prolonged conflict with cancer.”

“Jana was an impulse both on and off justice to anyone who had a event to know her,” Steve Simon, CEO of a WTA, pronounced in a statement. “Her star will always gleam brightly in a story of a WTA. Our condolences and a thoughts are with Jana’s family.”

By a finish of her veteran career on a court, Novotná had claimed 17 Grand Slam titles — all though one of that were won with a partner in doubles and churned doubles competition. That one difference came on tennis’ brightest stage: a weed courts of a All England Club, where she won a 1998 Wimbledon singles title.

“The feat done her a oldest leader of a initial vital singles pretension in history,” records a International Tennis Hall of Fame, that respected her with initiation in 2005. Novotná’s record was shortly overtaken, though her feat during Wimbledon has not been forgotten.

“She was a loyal champion in all senses of a word,” a bar pronounced in a reverence posted on Twitter, “and her 1998 delight will live prolonged in a memory.”

That championship in ’98 — which, coincidentally, also enclosed a quarterfinals win opposite a immature Venus Williams — capped something of a emancipation for Novotná, who had done a singles final during Wimbledon twice before that but success. The Guardian, essay in 2007, told of one noted impulse that unfolded after her initial defeat, when she narrowly unsuccessful to lift off an dissapoint opposite then-world No. 1 Steffi Graf in a 1993 final:

” The startle of her destruction finally struck Novotná as she collected her runner’s-up award from a Duchess of Kent. ‘I wanted to hoop myself well,’ she pronounced later, ‘but when she smiled during me we only let go.’ As she wept, Novotna was consoled by a Duchess. ‘Don’t worry Jana,’ she said. ‘I know we can do it.’ Indeed, she did. Five years later, she was Wimbledon champion. There were a few tears then, too. “

After her detriment in a 1993 Wimbledon final, Jana Novotná is consoled by Katharine, Duchess of Kent, in one of a fast images to emerge from a tournament.

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After her detriment in a 1993 Wimbledon final, Jana Novotná is consoled by Katharine, Duchess of Kent, in one of a fast images to emerge from a tournament.

Chris Cole/Getty Images

The Czech phenom also won 3 Olympic medals, again showcasing her abilities both alone and with a partner. In fact, during a Atlanta Olympics, only dual years before her Wimbledon run, Novotna took home china in doubles and bronze in singles.

“Watching Jana Novotná play tennis was a pristine adrenaline rush — we didn’t brave take your eye off a gifted, acrobatic contestant for fear you’d skip a shot unfailing for ESPN’s Top Plays,” a Hall of Fame pronounced of her personification style. “She was incessant suit on justice — never a lifeless impulse — Novotná spent lots of appetite using down each round and assertive on probably each point.”

That assertive serve-and-volley character gained her a universe No. 1 doubles ranking and a World No. 2 singles ranking during points in her career.

“The tennis universe is so unhappy about a flitting of Jana Novotná,” her longtime aspirant and crony Martina Navratilova pronounced Monday. “I am gutted and over difference — Jana was a loyal crony and an extraordinary woman.”