Tennis star Maria Bueno dies, aged 78

Annette Crawford
June 14, 2018

Bueno died at Sao Paulo hospital on Tuesday, but news of her death was not confirmed until Friday night.

The victor of 19 Grand Slam titles - seven in singles, 11 in doubles and one in mixed doubles - Bueno was nicknamed the tennis ballerina for her elegant playing style.

She swept the Brazilian scene, then the Caribbean circuit, and grabbed global attention by winning the Italian Championships in 1958, beating the best English and Australian players.

"She was very courageous", her nephew Pedro Bueno told reporters. She won 19 Grand Slam titles overall, seven in singles, 11 in doubles and one in mixed doubles, between 1959 and 1966.

Brazilian President Michel Temer has led tributes to the star, tweeting that she would be remembered as "the number one of tennis in the hearts of all Brazilians".

"She was a pioneer in our country, where few people knew the sport and at a time when everything was much more hard", said tennis player Thomaz Bellucci. "She faced the disease with the same courage she always faced challenges".

"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", he said. At 17, she left Brazil for the United States.

In 1960, she became the first female player to win a calendar year Grand Slam in doubles when she claimed the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open titles - each with different partners.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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