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Maria Bueno, Brazilian Tennis Star, Dies Aged 78 Following Cancer Fight

12 June 2018

The Brazilian "queen" of tennis, who won three Wimbledon and four United States championship singles titles, died Friday, June 8, 2018, in Sao Paulo.

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

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

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

The three-time Wimbledon victor died on Friday, three days after being admitted to hospital in Sao Paulo with mouth cancer.

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

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However, her career was hampered right at the start of the Open Era, when she suffered arm and leg injuries.

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.

Later that year, she won the first of her four U.S. Open titles and was named the year's top female athlete.

One of Ms. Bueno's outfits was lined in shocking pink, and whenever she leaned down to begin her serve, spectators tittered over the flash of forbidden color.

She was labelled the "Sao Paulo Swallow" for her ability to dominate the net by former BBC Sport commentator John Barrett.

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".

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Maria Esther Bueno was born on October 11, 1939, in São Paulo, and grew up across the street from a tennis club.

"There was a gasp from one end of the court", Bueno recalled years later.

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

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

"Later I wore panties that resembled the club colors, which outraged the club committee and they brought in the all-white clothing rule". "I had a lot of natural talent, but I had to work hard too", she told The Times.

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Maria Bueno, Brazilian Tennis Star, Dies Aged 78 Following Cancer Fight