Tennis great Maria Bueno buried in hometown of Sao Paulo, Brazil

Maria Bueno has been widely considered as the greatest South American player of all time, winning 19 Grand Slam titles in total and having been ranked number 1 four times, has died in Sao Paolo at the age of 78 after losing the battle with cancer.

Bueno shot to global fame when she claimed her maiden grand slam at Wimbledon in 1959 and her second at the US Nationals two months later.

Bueno's last major title came in 1968 when she won the doubles title at the U.S. Open alongside Margaret Court — one of her biggest rivals in singles.

The three-time Wimbledon victor died on Friday, three days after being admitted to hospital in Sao Paulo with mouth cancer. "She played tennis until the very last moment".

"She was the reigning queen of tennis in her day", King, who won the 1965 Wimbledon doubles championship with Ms. Bueno as her partner, told the New York Times in 1987.

An arm injury forced her out of competition from 1969 to 1974.

"She was a pioneer in our country, where few people knew the sport and at a time when everything was much more hard", said tennis player Thomaz Bellucci.

Born in Sao Paulo, Bueno started playing tennis at the age of 6 and entered her first tournament at 11.

She was later a commentator at major tennis tournaments for Brazilian television. At 17, she left Brazil for the United States.

Bueno was a consultant for several years for Sportv and commented on matches with Gustavo "Guga" Kuerten, the other Brazilian tennis legend.

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.

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

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

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