Maria Bueno, the Brazilian tennis great who won seven grand slam titles in the 1950s and 1960s, has died after being treated for cancer at a Sao Paulo hospital.
Ms. Bueno was the first and so far the only female player from South America to win the Wimbledon singles title and is one of only eight women to win at least three championships at both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. She won her first major title as a 19-year-old, winning the 1959 Wimbledon.
"She was very courageous", her nephew Pedro Bueno said.
A self-taught prodigy, she brought grace to the game and was a dominant force, BBC Americas editor Leonardo Rocha writes. She attributed her speed on the court to having trained with men.
Another doubles partner was Billie Jean King, with whom she won the Wimbledon title in 1965.
She was labelled the "Sao Paulo Swallow" for her ability to dominate the net by former BBC Sport commentator John Barrett.
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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.
Maria Esther Bueno was born on October 11, 1939, in São Paulo, and grew up across the street from a tennis club. At 17, she left Brazil for the United States.
Off the court, Bueno also had an interest in fashion and played in dresses tailored by English couturier Ted Tinling.
"There was a gasp from one end of the court", Bueno recalled years later. "I had a lot of natural talent, but I had to work hard too", she told The Times. "And the people at the other end didn't know why, until I changed ends and served from there".
"Later I wore panties that resembled the club colors, which outraged the club committee and they brought in the all-white clothing rule".