The Czech player was a three-time Olympic medalist and won four Wimbledon doubles titles in addition to the women's singles crown in 1998. She was suffering from cancer.

This file photo taken on July 2, 2010 shows Czech Republic's Jana Novotna during a ladies' invitation doubles match in the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at the All England Tennis Club, in southwest London.
This file photo taken on July 2, 2010 shows Czech Republic's Jana Novotna during a ladies' invitation doubles match in the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at the All England Tennis Club, in southwest London. (AFP)

Former Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna has died at the age of 49 after suffering from cancer, the Women's Tennis Association 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 won four Wimbledon doubles titles with compatriot Helena Sukova in 1989 and 1990, with Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario in 1995 and with Hingis in 1998.

Novotna was a three-time Olympic medalist and won the Fed Cup with Czechoslovakia in 1988.

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

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

Source: AFP