Mary Carillo on the tragic passing of Maria Bueno

Rex Christensen
June 14, 2018

Legendary Brazilian tennis player Maria Bueno, who won three Wimbledon and four USA championship singles titles, has died at the age of 78 after battling mouth cancer.

Brazilian tennis star Maria Bueno has passed away at the age of 78.

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

The hospital said that it would not release any more details on the passing of Bueno out of respect for her family.

However, her career was cut short by elbow problems, which she blamed on the heavy rackets used in the sport at the time.

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"I came from Brazil, where there were only clay courts and we didn't have any opportunities to practice on grass", she said in an interview with the WTA. She won her first major title as a 19-year-old, winning the 1959 Wimbledon.

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

"Volleying beautifully, playing with breathtaking boldness and panache, the lithe Brazilian became the first South American woman to win the Wimbledon singles", Collins wrote.

Winning seven singles, eleven doubles and one mixed-doubles event in Grand Slams during the 1950s and the 1960s, Bueno was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1978.

Bueno also reached the final of the 1964 French Championships and the 1965 Australian Championships but lost to Margaret Court at Roland Garros and retired hurt against the Australian great at Kooyong.

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