Five years later, she did.
Ms. Novotna, then 29, defeated Nathalie Tauziat of France 6-4, 7-6 (7-2) to lift the Wimbledon singles trophy for the first — and only — time.
“Jana was an inspiration both on and off the court to anyone who had the opportunity to know her,” said Steve Simon, the W.T.A.’s chief executive. “Her star will always shine brightly in the history of the W.T.A.”
Ms. Novotna turned professional in 1987 and initially drew attention as a doubles player. She began to make a name for herself as a singles player in 1990 — eight years before she won the women’s singles title at Wimbledon.
Known for her serve-and-volley game, she was ranked 13th among women players by 1990. By 1993, she was facing off with Ms. Graf in the Wimbledon finals. She returned to the tournament finale in 1997, but lost to Martina Hingis of Switzerland.
The following year, she beat Venus Williams in the quarterfinal, and exacted some measure of revenge by defeating Ms. Hingis in the semifinal. By beating Ms. Tauziat, she became the oldest first-time female Grand Slam champion in the Open era. (That record stood until 2010, when Francesca Schiavone of Italy won the French Open less than three weeks before her 30th birthday.)
Ms. Novotna reached the final of the Australian Open once, and appeared in the semifinals of the French Open and the United States Open, but Wimbledon was her only Grand Slam singles victory. She retired with 100 tournament titles — 76 in doubles, and 24 in singles.
Ms. Novotna retired from professional tennis in 1999, and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2005.
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