Maria Bueno, 78; tennis star won 19 Grand Slam events
SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian tennis great Maria Bueno, who helped usher in modern women’s tennis, was buried Saturday in her home town shortly after a wake was held for her at the Sao Paulo state Governor’s Palace.
Bueno died Friday in a Sao Paulo hospital after battling mouth cancer. She was 78.
The president of the Brazilian Tennis Confederation, Rafael Westrupp, said Bueno was “the biggest name in Brazilian tennis” and the sport was “in mourning.”
Born in Sao Paulo, Bueno started playing tennis at the age of 6 and entered her first tournament at 11. At 17, she left Brazil for the United States.
Nicknamed “The Tennis Ballerina” because of her graceful style, Bueno spent most of her career on the court before the professional era. She won 19 Grand Slam titles overall, seven in singles, 11 in doubles and one in mixed doubles, between 1959 and 1966. She won three Wimbledon singles titles and four at the U.S. Open.
Bueno was ranked No. 1 in the world in 1959, 1960, 1964 and 1966.