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Encyclopedia > Jana Novotna
Novotná at the 1998 US Open

Jana Novotná (born October 2, 1968 in Brno, Czech Republic) is a former professional Czech tennis player. She was known mostly as a fast-court player, with her best results coming on the slick, fast grass courts of Wimbledon.

Predominantly a doubles player early on in her career, Novotná began distinguishing herself in singles under the guidance of 4-time grand slam champion Hana Mandlíková.

In 1991, Novotná broke through by reaching the final of the Australian Open, defeating Steffi Graf and Arantxa Sánchez Vicario before succumbing to no. 1 Monica Seles in three sets.

Novotná's career-defining moment came two years later, in the 1993 Wimbledon final. Following a note-perfect performance, Novotná lead top seeded Graf 6-7, 6-1, 4-1, 40-15. Only moments away from a convincing triumph, she went completely off, missing easy shots, sometimes by phenomenal margins (including an infamous overhead smash that hit the back tarp) to give Graf the final 5 games and the title. She was left crying on the shoulder of the Duchess of Kent. For the remainder of her career Novotná carried an unfortunate, and probably undeserved, label of choker. However, the increased pressure on her at Wimbledon led to uninspired losses to Graf in the following couple of years.

It took four years for Novotná to reach another Wimbledon final, but after winning the first set easily against Martina Hingis, she succumbed to the Swiss teen's accurate passing shots. She finally had her moment of glory the following year, at age 30. After routing a young Venus Williams in the quarterfinal, she avenged the previous year's final by ousting Hingis in the semifinal, and completed the feat by angling past another veteran, Frenchwoman Nathalie Tauziat, 6-4, 7-6, in the final.

Despite winning titles on all surfaces, Novotná would forever be identified with Wimbledon, the site of both her greatest failure and biggest triumph.

Novotná retired from competition in 1999.

In 2005 she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Notable achievements

  • Wimbledon singles champion - 1998 — beat Nathalie Tauziat
  • Wimbledon singles finalist - 1997 — lost to Martina Hingis
  • Wimbledon singles finalist - 1993 — lost to Steffi Graf
  • Wimbledon doubles finalist - 1998 — partnered with Martina Hingis
  • Wimbledon doubles finalist - 1995 — partnered with Arantxa Sánchez Vicario
  • Wimbledon doubles finalist - 1989 and 1980 — partnered with Helena Sukova

See also

  Results from FactBites:
Jana Novotna Web (102 words)
This website is created in the view of celebrating the playing career of Jana Novotna, even though it has finished.
Given the prominence of power in women's tennis today, Jana's unorthodox game of slice, spin and net play is sorely missed.
Of course, latest news is also welcomed, as Jana is still involved in tennis.
PNC Tennis Classic | history (589 words)
Past participants include Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Venus and Serena Williams, Anna Kournikova, Lindsay Davenport, Jana Novotna, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Jim Courier, Todd Martin, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Monica Seles, Andy Roddick, Mary Pierce, Gabriela Sabatini, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, the Jensen Brothers and, of course, Pam Shriver.
Andy Roddick, Andre Agassi, Jana Novotna, Tim Wilkison, Zina Garrison, Richey Reneberg, Brady Anderson, Jerry Hairston
Lindsay Davenport, Monica Seles, Jana Novotna, Patrick McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Richey Reneberg, Gary Matthews, Brady Anderson
  More results at FactBites »



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