US Open condoles death of Maria Bueno

Over the course of a superb tennis career, Bueno won 19 Grand Slam titles, including seven in singles. She was the first non-American woman to win Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in the same season. She also reached the singles final at both the Australian Open and the French Open.

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.

Bueno was admitted to the Nove de Julho hospital in Sao Paulo in May. "She played tennis until the very last moment".

An arm injury forced her out of competition from 1969 to 1974. On Friday the hospital released a statement confirming her death but declined to provide further details. These included Wimbledon singles titles in 1959, 1960 and 1964, and the US National Championship - precursor to today's US Open - in 1959, 1963, 1964 and 1966.

She was later a commentator at major tennis tournaments for Brazilian television.

A self-taught prodigy, she brought grace to the game and was a dominant force, BBC Americas editor Leonardo Rocha writes.

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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".

She went on to win the Wimbledon doubles that same year alongside American Althea Gibson. She was voted female athlete of the year in a nationwide poll of sportswriters conducted by The Associated Press.

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

Maria Esther Andion Bueno was born October 11, 1939, in Sao Paulo. "And the people at the other end didn't know why, until I changed ends and served from there".

She usually practiced with men - including her brother, who became a star collegiate player in the United States - and modeled her booming serve on photographs of 1920s tennis star Bill Tilden.

"She had this fantastic brooding character, the impression of an imminent storm", Tinling told Sports Illustrated in 1969, "and I had to illustrate that in some way".

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