Maria Bueno, Brazilian Tennis Star Who Reigned Over 1960s, Dies at 78

Brazilian tennis player Maria Bueno, who won three Wimbledon singles titles, has died aged 78 following a battle with mouth cancer. Over the course of a superb tennis career, Bueno won 19 Grand Slam titles, including seven in singles.

The official Tennis Hall of Fame led the tributes to Bueno following the news of her passing, taking to Twitter to describe her as "a graceful and accomplished champion who leaves a lasting legacy".

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.

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

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"She was very courageous", her nephew Pedro Bueno said.

Injuries and illness shortened her career, including spending eight months in bed in 1961 because of hepatitis.

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

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In 1964, Ms. Bueno lost to Court at the French Open, but the two met again in the Wimbledon finals, with Ms. Bueno leaping for joy after winning in three sets, 6-4, 7-9, 6-3. But she returned to tennis years later and won her final tournament at the Japan Open in 1974.

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

In 1962, designer Ted Tinling created several outfits for Ms. Bueno with colored skirt linings and underpants, in violation of a Wimbledon rule that players dress entirely in white. "And the people at the other end didn't know why, until I changed ends and served from there". At 17, she left Brazil for the United States.

"Later I wore panties that resembled the club colors, which outraged the club committee and they brought in the all-white clothing rule".

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"I'm not good", she told The Associated Press after being named Female Athlete of the Year in 1959.

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