What You Need To Know: Maria Bueno

Former Brazilian tennis great Maria Bueno dead at 78

Maria Bueno, a Brazilian who won three Wimbledon women’s singles titles and four U.S. Open crowns during the 1950s and ’60s and was also known for her controversial tennis attire, died Friday, the BBC reported. She was 78.

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Bueno was admitted to a hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Tuesday, The Telegraph reported. The hospital released a statement confirming her death, the newspaper reported.

Bueno, nicknamed the “Tennis Ballerina” for her grace and style during tennis’ pre-Open era, won 19 Grand Slam titles. In addition to her seven singles titles, she won 11 doubles championships and one mixed doubles title. She also reached the finals at the French Open and Australian Open.

Bueno also was the world’s top-ranked women’s player in 1959, 1960, 1964 and 1966. From 1957 to 1967 she won 65 singles tournaments, 90 doubles crowns and 15 mixed doubles titles. She was a runner-up in 45 events. Bueno was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1978. 

In 1964, Bueno caused a stir at Wimbledon when she wore a white dress designed by Ted Tinling that had a pink underskirt and matching pink underwear.

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

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