June 9, 2018 / 1:35 AM / 6 months ago

Brazilian great Bueno dies aged 78

FILE PHOTO: Former Brazilian great Maria Esther Bueno, winner of 19 Grand Slam singles and doubles titles from 1959-68, plays during a tennis exhibition on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil December 10, 2005. REUTERS/Bruno Domingos/File Photo

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Maria Bueno, the Brazilian tennis great who won seven grand slam titles in the 1950s and 1960s, has died after being treated for cancer at a Sao Paulo hospital. She was 78.

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.

She 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.

The 9 de Julho Hospital said she had been admitted for “oncological treatment” and asked for privacy.

Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Ian Ransom

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