Sport

Tennis great Maria Bueno buried in hometown of Sao Paulo, Brazil

Tennis great Maria Bueno buried in hometown of Sao Paulo, Brazil

Brazilian tennis legend Maria Bueno, who dominated the women's game in the late 1950s and for much of the 1960s, has died at the age of 78 after a battle with mouth cancer. The hospital released a statement on Friday afternoon confirming her death, but declined to provide more details out of respect for her family. Known as "The Tennis Ballerina", Maria won all 19 Grand Slam crowns between 1958-1966, including three Wimbledon singles crowns and four at the US Open and in 1960 she conquered all four doubles Grand Slams crowns as the first player to accomplish that feat.

Bueno's last major title came in 1968 when she won the doubles title at the U.S. Open alongside Margaret Court — one of her biggest rivals in singles. A New York Times reporter marveled at Ms. Bueno's "fluent and nearly flawless performance" and her "catlike coverage" of the court.

Retiring from the sport in 1977, she became a commentator herself for the Brazilian channel SporTV. Bueno essentially retired after the 1977 season although she did play in mixed doubles at Wimbledon in 1980. These included Wimbledon singles titles in 1959, 1960 and 1964, and the US National Championship - precursor to today's US Open - in 1959, 1963, 1964 and 1966.

Bueno was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1978.




He added: "She fought until the end, I think what she did on the court - with courage and determination - is what she did with the illness until the end, until the last days".

Off the court, Bueno also had an interest in fashion and played in dresses tailored by English couturier Ted Tinling.

"She had this fantastic brooding character, the impression of an imminent storm", Tinling told Sports Illustrated in 1969, "and I had to illustrate that in some way".

"There was a gasp from one end of the court", Bueno recalled years later.


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