BBC tribute to Jana Novotna

BBC tribute to Jana Novotna

there’s going to be a short break of about another 20 minutes or so but for the next few minutes we are going to
remember a former Wimbledon champion jana novotná who died sadly at the end
of last year when she lost her battle with cancer
we all remember those incredibly emotional scenes after she lost the
final to Steffi Graf in 1993 and she cried on the Duchess of Kent’s shoulder
but five years later here at the tournament she loved so much
she finally achieved her dream of lifting the trophy Andrew Cotter
remembers one of this sport’s most popular champions jana novotná was one
of the greatest talents of her generation she’d already won five
doubles Grand Slams and risen to eight in the singles rankings by the time she
walked through the doors of the All England Club in 1993 her semi final
opponent that year was nine times Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova She was a very physical player, similar to Steffi except she was coming to the net it was really hard to find openings
against her so she was a tricky player to play against. She’d been known to be a bit flaky in some of her previous matches but this year she looked
terrific When I lost to Jana I thought if she
plays like this I think she had a chance to win you know I really was pulling for
her as a fellow Czech. Novotna’s problem was that in her era was not only Navratilova but another of the greatest of all time Steffi Graf and it was the
German she would know face in the final novotna began well but it was Graf who
took the first set at a tie-break yet in the second novotna took control and
racing to a 4-1 lead in the decider the confidence she had shown against
Navratilova was once more clear to see At moments like this in the past she
tended to choke on her leads but I don’t think it’s going to happen today,
we’ll see. Deuce. You could just see the belief kind of sink away from Jana
before our very eyes we saw that evaporate and Steffi just got better and
Jana just got worse having being so close to victory with four straight
games lost novotná was now on the brink of a painful defeat Two sets to one, 7-6 1-6 6-4. The way she lost it was
just heartbreaking because she lost to the Wimbledon final, she didn’t really
lose to Steffi Graf she could see how she got nervous and emotional you get
that close you’ve been wanting it for 20 years and then you fail it’s just
heartbreaking but it was what immediately followed this most dramatic
match that would fill the newspapers and live in the memories of all who saw it.
Your face crumples, it’s a natural thing isn’t it. You kind of might’ve built yourself up played Wimbledon finals and you didn’t
make it and she did what comes naturally and cried. she just she just told me Jana you will
do it I believe you one day you will do it I just became very emotional and was
very nice I appreciate it very much it’s what she’s like I’m sure that the improvement she’s shown will one day allow her to hold a rather larger plate above her head than that… you know as tennis players so you have
to have kind of short-term memory and keep going and perseverance is I
think in our blood and Jana Novotna showed that perseverance she kept coming
back coming back she returned to the final in 1997 but lost in a one-sided
affair making the defeat easier to bear the question was would her chance come
again I think she told her don’t worry there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be
in the Final Four a third time there’s no reason why you should be winning I probably would have said that: come on you can do this you can do it. And so on Saturday the
fourth of July jana novotná would have her third chance to take the prize which
had twice escaped her Nathalie Tauziat her opponent playing in her first Grand Slam
final. I just thought Jana would take this one she she always played to win she never played not to
lose and I thought this match was on her racquet novotna soon found her rhythm
and the athleticism for which she was known helped her take control of the
first set she was disciplined she was focused the second set was tighter
novotná let slip a 5-3 lead perhaps nerves would again be her
undoing a tie-break had to be endured to complete the task and now having had all the experience in
those disappointments she was ready for them at last Maybe she just won more than me and
that’s it because she have a opportunity before she didn’t get it and me I was so
happy to be in a final already I didn’t have the little things that makes a difference
I cry it’s gonna choke me up now to think that she had to wait for five
years for that moment and you know she never knew if that moment was gonna come
again she could have choked and that was a hit a word that nobody wanted to use
but that’s basically what happened in 93 to see her come through it was joy but
it was also relief okay she finally got it and there was for jana novotná a
meeting with an old friend again I think we loved, been there done it we
became quite firm friends and at last she’ll be able to hold aloft this famous
trophy which so many great champions… relief happiness thrill elation and I
think the whole world was pulling for Jana it was the correct result I think
the tennis world was pulling for her that’s for sure
novotná played her last singles match at Wimbledon in 1999 but she continued to have
great success from the doubles circuit for years after in retirement as a
player she became a respected voice as a radio commentator I think she brought a
sense of what Wimbledon was about it was the pinnacle of her career to win the
Wimbledon title and so when she is in the booth she’s bringing the history of
Wimbledon and what it’s like to be there on the Centre Court what it’s like to be
a former champion but unknown to all except her closest friends and family
jana novotná had fallen ill with cancer it was an illness which took her far too
young late last year it’s a shock because she’s so healthy takes such good
care of herself and just 49 years old it was devastating she was
just so positive and always kept fighting and she never gave up so we
remember a Wimbledon icon jana novotná the woman who never gave up one of the loveliest players on tour
jana novotná who lost her battle with cancer last year and here on Centre Court Billie Jean and
Tracy and we will hear from Martina Navratilova as well it’s just so sad she
was such a popular player and champion with an incredible story very and too
young only 49 to pass away from cancer and then obviously that makes me
think about Maria Bueno too who also passed away and you know I played her in 1966
and we always seen her every year here at woman and two great champions have
left us and both from cancer and it’s just too bad
Jana I’m so glad she won because it was so important and everybody felt so much
when she was crying on the Duchess of Kent’s shoulder and she was
such a great player so she deserved it. She was, she was so attacking she was a great
athlete she and she was just beautiful to
watch she was had a great style great athleticism but I think when she when
she cried on the Duchess’s shoulder everybody in the world whether a tennis
player or not knows what it’s like to have something kind of slip through
their fingers right and then we saw her go through another final and she lost
there so I think everybody in the tennis world cried in unison when Jana finally
was able to beat Tauziat because she just kept going
after it and that’s that’s what you’re supposed to do in life and she kept her
chin up she kept her head up wonderful person and as Billie said way too young yes
she will be very much missed certainly mised here at the Championships
it was always lovely catching up with Jana but you feel in some ways with Jana
winning here it’s very similar to Simona Halep possibly winning at the French
Open after so many attempts you know will I ever get one? you just want
to get to that one big win and then it’s off your back and then you can breathe and
exhale again and then you’re on your way it’s a huge weight off your
shoulders also getting to number one Simona had a number of matches last year
if you win this match you become number one and she wasn’t able to do it and it
kept happening whether it was the three major finals that she lost all in
three sets or it was getting to number one she finally touched number one at
the fall of last year and then got over the finish line at Roland Garros this
year that’s the same kind of thing I think everybody in unison can take a sigh of relief but we all know what that feels like. Halep finally embraced the
situationd, embraced who she is she believes in herself thanks to a lot of people
around her and she actually did it not just think about it she actually had to
do it on the court and she didn’t give up on herself which is really great
because you’ve got to keep believing in yourself and she did and she finally did
it and she was a different person she’s smiling a lot more when you see her, it’s
amazing she’s so much happier and things have changed a lot but she said she’s
really the same inside that she really still
believes and she’s thankful to everybody around her so I look forward to seeing
more of Halep actually in the future but everything that she went through I think we all went
through it with her you know as commentators as tennis fans we saw
Simona would go dark she would get so negative so quickly in a match and you
say okay Simona can you turn this around I think the biggest change was when
Darren Cahill actually left her team in Miami last year 2017 he said you know
what you gave up in that Johanna konta match and I just I’m not gonna be there
and so he left the team and it hurt Simona so badly that she said I am going
to change I’m going to be more positive on court and that was the switch. He
came back she said you’ve got to come back I promise you I will believe I
promise you I’ll never give up again and she had she’s kept her word. She
certainly has and also a sports psychologist that seems to be the the
buzzword around this Wimbledon with Kevin Anderson Simona Halep everybody
else but anyway we’re gonna now start our look ahead to the next semi-final
Julia Goerges up against us Serena Williams


51 thoughts on “BBC tribute to Jana Novotna”

  • LeVerne Wilson says:

    I remember every match Jana played, I felt bad each time she lost, and great joy in her victory. R.I.P Champion.

  • So glad Wimbledon arranged this tribute to Jana. She was one of my favourite tennis players along with Steffi when I was a teenager. I think a lot of people even beyond tennis fans would have shed a tear or had a heavy heart when they heard about her passing. Such a sad ending to what was one of the most uplifting sporting justices of the time when she won Wimbledon in 1998. Your name Jana will ALWAYS be engraved on that Rosewater dish even now that you are gone xx

  • This song gives tribute to Jana Novotna and her victory at Wimbledon in 1998, throwing her so sad memories of 1993 and 1997 into oblivion.With this victory, on a mystic Centre court where the grass is growing green and where she so much deserved to win, she drew level with the greatest champions and legends. Her dream became reality, and this amazing reality remained an immortal memory, portrayed by those beautiful pics of her holding this shiny silver salver forever, after hugging her coach Hana Mandlikova and her beloved mum in the tribune. Now, she’s gone to the Land of Eternal Youth (“Tír na n Óg”, in Irish). Another mystic place where the grass is also growing green, but that no one else has seen. I am sure that, when Jana closed her (so nice) eyes for the last time, she saw herself back on the Wimbledon Centre Court, on this unforgettable Saturday the 4h of July 1998, with the Venus Rosewaters Dish in her hands. A trophy handed by the Duchess of Kent, who had so warm-heartedly consoled her five years before. This song is inspired by an Irish melancholic tune : “Uncle Nobby’s steamboat”, using the image of a pleasant trip aboard a steamboat to symbolize the passing from this world to Eternity.You will find the melody on this link : I advise you to read the poem, listening to the musicSONG :Come for a trip on Centre court of Wimbledon
    Where you can hide your worries by a victory
    And you'll draw level with Champions and Legends
    And hide your sad memories for everAnd you're going where the grass is growing green
    To a mystic court where you deserved to win
    Where oblivion takes the mind's reality
    And reality fades into a memory

    Your beloved mum gives a smile in the tribune to hug you
    Hana by her side with her arms opened to congratulate youThen you go down, the silver salver is there and shinyFull joy ahead you're ready for to go
    And you're going where the grass is growing green
    To a mystic court where you deserved to win
    Where oblivion takes the mind's reality
    And reality fades into a memory

    Bring on the dancing girl the show is now in motion
    The Duchess has come this time to congratulate youYou’re like a nice fairy raising a magnificent trophy
    Sweet Jana, you’re at last in commandAnd you're going where the grass is growing green
    To a mystic court where you deserved to win
    Where oblivion takes the mind's reality
    And reality fades into a memoryNow you’re off to Tír na n óg, the God of love has called youYou’re like a new star shining in the beautiful twilightThe sky welcomes you in a twinkling mystic vision
    The shamrock lies a-mourning in your graveAnd you're going where the grass is growing green
    To a mystic land that no one else has seen
    Where oblivion takes the mind's reality
    And reality fades into a memory

  • thank you bbc for the lovely tribute to Jana.  Glad that she has been remembered at Wimbledon especially 20 years after she won Wimbledon.  Jana was my favourite player growing up in the 90's and I enjoyed watching the rollercoaster journey that eventually got her the trophy in 1998.  Jana was so popular at Wimbledon that you could have mistaken her for a british player, as everyone so much wanted her to do well.  Jana will always be an inspiration to everyone never to give up.  RIP champion.

  • NotSoHandyTim says:

    I learned the backhand slice approach by watching her's. It remains my favorite shot. She remains one of my favorites of all time. Good positive comments from EVERYONE on this. Wish we could all get together in person. What a good group.

  • Steevo Nuissier says:

    RIP Jana one of my all time fav an amazing player always attacking, great style, an amazing athlete… was so happy ( even if I m French ) when she beat Tauziat. I can’t believe she s already gone! She will always be there in our hearts! Thank you Jana. 💔💔♥️♥️

  • Cormac Mac Mahon says:

    That moment in 1993 will definitely live on. It was such a beautiful iconic moment, breaking royal protocol and through the boundaries of what is often seen as an elitist sport. So sad she has passed away, a magnificent advocat of perseverance over nerve and doubt.

  • I remember the Graf/ Novotna match clearly. It was when I became convinced there is match fixing in Professional Tennis.

  • Annette Elliott says:

    Somehow I forget who won when but THAT day when she cried on the shoulder after she lost I'll never forget… lovely lady 😢😢😢😢

  • Billie Jean, Tracy & Martina three of the nicest people in the history of womens tennis (Sue Barker , also a Grand Slam Champion) also very nice person

  • Came to YouTube to watch some videos and came across this one. I'm so shocked to hear that she had passed away. Her 1998 Wimbledon win was well deserved. I was so happy for her. RIP

  • A great documentary for a great champion. Beside Navratilova, Jana was one of the last serve and volley players to have graced the grass at Wimbledon. I watched that 1993 match against Graf and I was devastated for her then. Watching her win in 1998 made me so happy for her, she deserved it. Be at peace great one, for you have achieved greatness, becoming a Wimbledon champion.

  • I guess it made her win in 98 all the more sweeter. She wasn't as devastated losing the 97 final to Hingis bc she was playing with injuries (stomach muscle injury) which she didn't disclose till afterwards.

  • The Duchess of Kent was crying inside too: "Do you know HOW MUCH this outfit is worth?! And you get your tears soaked into my jacket!" The Duchess was ready to throw a British hissy fit right on Centre Court.

  • Kenneth Studdert says:

    she was a true legend of the game . rip in peace Jana . I was overjoyed when she won the ladies title in 1998 at Wimbledon after losing two finals in that decade in the 90s . she would have being heartbroken if she hadn't won her beloved Wimbledon before she  retried from the game in 1999.

  • Lovely homage, but does anyone know if the BBC did a tribute to that other great Wimbledon Ladies' Champion we have recently lost, Maria Bueno?

  • Beutiful tribute…i remember wandering around the outside courts at wimbledon and seeing stopping to see a bit of doubles…i watched an older lady knife a couple of backhands and though wow!!…i looked closer and though..hold on thats jana navotna!…i stayed there and watched and remebered her story and how i cried when she cried..i watched as people wandered past and didnt even bat an eyelid seeminly oblivious to the legend a few feet away…my god she played amazing with the new rackets ect..i proceeded to tell my wife her story as we stood and watched..a moment ill never jana..

  • Here's to you Jana Novotna,
    Rest for ever here in our hearts
    This win in Wimbledon is yours
    That trophy is your triumph

  • That dude, Navratilova, was always jealous of Steffi. Was it that a young feminine girl came and bettered her and he had to change guards or pass the torch? I have to think yes. Watch the game, find it, and one will see that Steffi simply got better as the match progressed. Many HOPED that Novotna win, but their hope was mixed with biases and favoritism. Steffi won because Steffi recognized she needed to improve in certain areas, and she did, or else she would lose. Tracy Austin said it honestly: "Steffi just got better."
    RIP, Jana.

  • Not going to lie. I was a Steffi Graf fan back in the day, and I wanted her to win that 1993 final.

    But my goodness, the manner in which Jana Novotna lost that match and her reaction afterwards just got to me. So happy she got her win a few years later.

    Gone way too soon. Rest In Peace.

  • She could have easily won the Wimbledon 1993 & 1997, if she had played the selfish baseline game…..

    She lost most of her matches, because she was very sportive, losing most of her points by going to the net to play the volleys.

    Probably the only Woman after Martina Navratilova, to have entertained the Tennis followers with her Serve & volley game, which is very very rare in Women's tennis.

    She lost two Wimbledon finals (1993 & 1997) because of her sportive Serve & volley game style.

  • The Duchess giving Jana a hug is one of the sport's greatest moments. Such warmth and compassion isn't usually shown by the Brit royal family,.

  • She seemed a great person -fun loving emotional talented and a great advocate of her sport. You won’t be forgotten girl 😪

  • What an incredible champion,
    What an incredible person,
    Cruelly taken from us far too young,
    We will never forget u Jana,

  • 7:17 so healthy? No one who eats Carcasses is healthy.

    As long as Man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings he will never know health or peace. For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love. 

    ~ Pythagoras, Greek philosopher

  • I loved her tennis-style. And she was a quiet, reserved and sympathetic woman. Terrible cancer, she died too young! Rest in peace, Jana!

  • I m from india . I still remember yana lost in the era of Graff . I love u yana. I wish I could have a conversation with you. Such a great player and a real fighter. Have good life

  • Roger Arve Vigulf says:

    Jana R.I.P. Youtube "The Parade of Champions 2000" late summer of 2000.10 has past away from that ceremony.

  • I blubbed in '93 and again in '98.
    Jana was, along with Navratilova one of my top 2 players, male, or female, of all time and I loved her attacking serve-volley game.
    R.I.P. Lovely lady!

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