Brazilian great Bueno dies aged 78

Bueno carries the Rio 2016 Olympic torch during the torch relay in Sao Paulo Brazil

The three-time Wimbledon victor died on Friday, three days after being admitted to hospital in Sao Paulo with mouth cancer.

Nicknamed "The Tennis Ballerina" because of her graceful style, Bueno spent most of her career on the court before the professional era.

She swept the Brazilian scene, then the Caribbean circuit, and grabbed worldwide attention by winning the Italian Championships in 1958, beating the best English and Australian players. And although she once told reporters "I'm afraid of everyone I play", her glory days were only just beginning.

Tributes for the tennis great poured in on Twitter on Friday evening.

The president of the Brazilian Tennis Confederation, Rafael Westrupp, said Bueno was "the biggest name in Brazilian tennis" and the sport was "in mourning".

The Nove de Julho hospital confirmed Bueno's death on Friday and said she had been admitted for "oncological treatment".

One tennis writer, John Barrett, called her "the elegant queen of Brazilian tennis". "She faced the disease with the same courage she always faced challenges".

Overall she won 19 Grand Slam titles, seven in singles, 11 in doubles and one in mixed doubles, between 1959 and 1966.

Known for her stylishness and her exciting way of playing, she was the first South American woman to win the Wimbledon singles title.

Bueno 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.



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