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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 June, 2003, 07:56 GMT 08:56 UK
Classic Matches: Graf v Novotna
1993 - Women's Singles Final
S Graf (Ger) bt J Novotna (Cz) 7-6, 1-6, 6-4

Jana Novotna

When Jana Novotna cried her eyes out on the Duchess of Kent's shoulder after losing from a double break of serve up in the third set, it instantly became an enduring Wimbledon image.

Novotna had a point for a 5-1 lead but when she went for broke on a second serve, and missed, it showed nerves were getting to her.

Up until that point, Steffi Graf had taken only two of the previous 10 games and thought she was out of it.

The German said: "With the way she was playing and the way I was playing, yes, I'd kind of lost it. I didn't give up but I didn't have a very positive feeling"

Novotna already had a reputation as something of a choker, but it is a testament to Graf's ruthless will to win that she could come back.

When Graf finally won, she gave an understandable yelp for joy.

But by the time she reached the net to shake hands and had seen the look on Novotna's face, all she could do was ask if she was alright.

The Duchess, who had met Novotna several times before, said: "Don't worry Jana. I know you can do it." Then the tears started to flow.

But she was right. After losing the final again, in 1997 to Martina Hingis, it was third time lucky for the Czech when she beat Nathalie Tauziat to finally lift the title in 1998.





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