Brazilian tennis great Maria Bueno dies after battle with cancer

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Brazilian tennis great Maria Bueno, who helped usher in modern women's tennis, was buried Saturday in her home town shortly after a wake was held for her at the Sao Paulo state Governor's Palace.

The elegant Bueno, South America's most successful player, shot to global fame when she claimed her maiden grand slam at Wimbledon in 1959 and her second at the U.S. Nationals two months later.

That same year she went on to win the Wimbledon doubles alongside American Althea Gibson. She teamed with US star Althea Gibson to win the women's doubles title at Wimbledon in 1958 - the first of her 19 victories in Grand Slam events, including seven singles championships, 11 in doubles and one in mixed doubles.

Bueno died at Sao Paulo hospital on Tuesday, but news of her death was not confirmed until Friday night. She grew up across the street from a tennis club, where her parents played.

In 1965, Bueno again won the Wimbledon doubles title, this time with tennis partner Billie Jean King.

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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. She was also the No. 1 ranked tennis player in the world in 1959, 1960, 1964 and 1966. She later became a leading tennis commentator on Brazilian television.

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.

Off the court, Bueno also had an interest in fashion and played in dresses tailored by English couturier Ted Tinling.

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

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

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