Novotna, a former world number one in doubles and number two in singles, passed away peacefully on Sunday surrounded by her family, the WTA announced.
A statement read, 'It is with deep sadness that the WTA announces the passing on Sunday, November 19, of Jana Novotna, the former WTA World No.1 doubles and No.2 singles champion. After a long battle with cancer, Jana died peacefully, surrounded by her family in her native Czech Republic, aged 49.'
Novotna won the Wimbledon women's singles title in 1998 and was beaten by Steffi Graf in the 1993 final.
She captured hearts around the world when she burst into tears after losing to the German champion and was consoled by the Duchess of Kent.
Many have paid there tributes to the tennis great.
This article originally appeared on New Idea.