Brazilian tennis great Maria Bueno dead at 78

Brazilian tennis great Maria Bueno dead at 78

A national hero in her native Brazil, Bueno also had a special flair that probably cannot be taught.

"She was very courageous", her nephew Pedro Bueno told reporters.

Tributes for the tennis great poured in on Twitter on Friday evening.

Known for her stylishness and her exciting way of playing, she was the first South American woman to win the Wimbledon singles title.

The 9 de Julho Hospital said she had been admitted for "oncological treatment" and asked for privacy.

One tennis writer, John Barrett, called her "the elegant queen of Brazilian tennis".

She successfully defended her Wimbledon crown the following year and claimed back-to-back U.S. Nationals titles in 1963-64.

"In my era, tennis was totally amateur. I'd only take two rackets to a tournament and the prize for winning Wimbledon was a £15 voucher", she said in a 2015 interview with YouTube channel Esporte Ponto Final. Bueno won three Wimbledon singles titles and four at the US Open in the 1950s and 1960s.

Bueno was ranked No. 1 in the world in 1959, 1960, 1964 and 1966 and was the first non-American woman to win Wimbledon and the US Open in the same season.

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.

The world was saddened this weekend to learn of the death of a tennis legend. "She faced the disease with the same courage she always faced challenges".

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