Brazilian tennis great Bueno dies

Ruben Hill
June 12, 2018

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

As she received the award, she said: "I'm not good, I'm afraid of everyone I play".

Bueno shot to global fame when she claimed her maiden grand slam at Wimbledon in 1959 and her second at the US Nationals two months later. A New York Times reporter marveled at Ms. Bueno's "fluent and nearly flawless performance" and her "catlike coverage" of the court.

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".

Bueno passed away at the 9 de Julho hospital here, where she had been admitted several days earlier, doctors and family members said on Friday, reports Xinhua news agency.

Bueno won 19 major titles during her career in the 1950s and 60s, including three Wimbledon singles titles and four U.S. championships.

She usually practiced with men - including her brother, who became a star collegiate player in the United States - and modeled her booming serve on photographs of 1920s tennis star Bill Tilden.

Her one major title of the open era, when big tournaments opened to professionals, was the 1968 U.S. Open doubles alongside Australian legend Margaret Court.

"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. "I even met the pope and Princess Diana". She later became a leading tennis commentator on Brazilian television.

World No. 1 in 1959, 1960, 1964 and 1966, Bueno was Brazil's best ever player, winning 19 Grand Slam titles. She was also the No. 1 ranked tennis player in the world in 1959, 1960, 1964 and 1966.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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