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Brazilian tennis legend Maria Bueno dies aged 78

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By Michael Daventry
Brazilian tennis legend Maria Bueno dies aged 78

Maria Bueno, the most successful tennis player ever to come out of South America, has died at the age of 78.

The Brazilian star had no formal training as a teenager but burst onto the world scene by winning the Italian Championships in 1958.

She claimed her maiden grand slam at Wimbledon in 1959 and her second at the U.S. Nationals two months later.

Bueno successfully defended her Wimbledon crown the following year and claimed back-to-back U.S. Nationals titles in 1963-64.

She also reached the final of the 1964 French Championships and the 1965 Australian Championships but lost to Margaret Court at Roland Garros and retired hurt against the Australian great at Kooyong.

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.

There are seven grand slam titles to her name in all - three at Wimbledon and four in the United States - until 1966, but her career was cut short by elbow problems.

Brazilian President said Maria Bueno would be remembered as "the number one of tennis in the hearts of all Brazilians".

The 9 de Julho Hospital had said she had been admitted for "oncological treatment".