I have never seen Novotna play.
Oooh you poor person
Jana was simply breathtaking at times. People always remember her as a nervy player, but that wasn't entirely fair. She choked in one of the most important matches in her career -- that's what is remembered. And up until then she had been playing splendidly in that match, with Graf on the ropes and 4-1 down in the final set. But I saw Novotna fight her way out of many difficult situations with wonderfully physical tennis.
Most would agree that she would have beaten Hingis in the '97 final, having destroyed the 16 year-old in the first set, only to then injure a stomach muscle which forced her out for much of the remainder of the summer. She finally got the job done in the 1998 semi, defeating Hingis in straight sets. In my lifetime as a tennis fan (c1992 onwards) there has been no volleyer anywhere near Jana's standard.
Novotna should have won at least three Wimbledon titles, and that's allowing Graf all seven.
Talking of which, Graf and Novotna was a match often salivated over in anticipation; they were both the two greatest athletes in women's tennis for well over five years, with similar movement, heights, and athletic figures. Except, Novotna's movement was more cat-like, with long leaps, while Graf's more resembled a horse in the way that she seemed to gallop across the baseline. But their matches were wonderfully physical with sharp reflexes, digging slices, bent knees, ducked heads and taut calf muscles.
And Novotna's smash was incredible. She almost never missed.