Next Story Brazil tennis great Maria Bueno buried


Brazilian tennis great Maria Bueno passed away after a battle with mouth cancer, according to a statement by the hospital.

The Nove de Julho hospital confirmed Bueno's death on Friday and said she had been admitted for "oncological treatment". 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.

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 teamed with USA star Althea Gibson to win the women's doubles title at Wimbledon in 1958 - the first of her 19 victories in Grand Slam events, including seven singles championships, 11 in doubles and one in mixed doubles.

On and off the court, Bueno "always showed a lot of fight", Brazilian tennis player Bia Haddad said. "She helped lay the groundwork for what was to come", King told Bueno's website in 2009. At 17, she left Brazil for the United States. She was ranked No. 1 in the world in 1959, 1960, 1964 and 1966.

Bueno said men were key to her game.

That same year she went on to win the Wimbledon doubles alongside American Althea Gibson.

A tweet posted on the official Tennis Hall of Fame account referred to Bueno as an "accomplished champion who leaves a lasting legacy of inspiration to generations".

"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".

For years after retirement she was a commentator on Brazil's SporTV.

However, her career was hampered right at the start of the Open Era, when she suffered arm and leg injuries. "And the people at the other end didn't know why, until I changed ends and served from there".