Mary Carillo on the tragic passing of Maria Bueno

Ruben Hill
June 14, 2018

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

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

Brazilian President Michel Temer tweeted that Bueno "will always be remembered as the number one of tennis in the hearts of all Brazilians".

Born in Sao Paulo, Bueno started playing tennis at the age of 6 and entered her first tournament at 11.

"She was a pioneer in our country, where few people knew the sport and at a time when everything was much more hard", said tennis player Thomaz Bellucci.

Bueno was also a prolific doubles player, claiming women's titles at all four of the grand slams from 1958-68 and a mixed doubles championship at Roland Garros in 1960.

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

More recently, she was contributing to Brazilian television at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and other major tennis events.

"In my era, tennis was totally amateur".

"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.

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

She also got to the finals of the French championship in 1964 and the Australian in 1965.

Following the death of Former World No. 1, Maria Esther Bueno, the US Open on Saturday offered its condolences to the family of the tennis legend.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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