Maria Esther Andion Bueno (11 October 1939 – 8 June 2018) was a Brazilian professional tennis player. During her 11-year career in the 1950s and 1960s, she won 19 major titles (seven in women's singles, 11 in women's doubles, and one in mixed doubles), making her the most successful South American tennis player in history, and the only one to ever win Wimbledon.[1] Bueno was the year-end No. 1 female player in 1959 and 1960 and was known for her graceful style of play.[2]

Maria Esther Bueno
Bueno in 2016
Full nameMaria Esther Andion Bueno
Country (sports) Brazil
Born(1939-10-11)11 October 1939
São Paulo, Brazil
Died8 June 2018(2018-06-08) (aged 78)
São Paulo, Brazil
Height1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
Turned pro1950
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HoF1978 (member page)
Career titles63
Highest rankingNo. 1 (1959)
Grand Slam singles results
Australian OpenF (1965)
French OpenF (1964)
WimbledonW (1959, 1960, 1964)
US OpenW (1959, 1963, 1964, 1966)
Grand Slam doubles results
Australian OpenW (1960)
French OpenW (1960)
WimbledonW (1958, 1960, 1963, 1965, 1966)
US OpenW (1960, 1962, 1966, 1968)
Grand Slam mixed doubles results
Australian OpenSF (1960)
French OpenW (1960)
WimbledonF (1959, 1960, 1967)
US OpenF (1958, 1960)

In 1960, Bueno became the first woman to win the Grand Slam in doubles (all four majors in a year), three of them partnering Darlene Hard and one with Christine Truman.[3]

Tennis career edit

Bueno in July 1964 at a tournament in the Netherlands.

Bueno was born in São Paulo.[4] Her father, a businessman, was a keen club tennis player.[5] Her elder brother Pedro was also a tennis player.[5] She began playing tennis aged six[4][6] at the Clube de Regatas Tiete in São Paulo and, without having received any formal training, won her first tournament at age 12.[7] She was 15 when she won her country's women's singles championship.[8] She first went abroad in 1957 at age 17 and won the Orange Bowl juniors tournament in Florida, USA.[9][10]

Joining the international circuit in 1958, Bueno won the singles title at the Italian Championships.[a] The same year she gained the first of her Grand Slam titles, winning the women's doubles at Wimbledon with Althea Gibson.[12] The following year, Bueno won her first singles title at Wimbledon, defeating Darlene Hard in the final.[13] She also won the singles title at the U.S. Championships after a straight-sets victory in the final against Christine Truman, earning the World No. 1 ranking for 1959 and the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year award.[14] Bueno was the first non-North-American woman to win both Wimbledon and the U.S. Championships in the same calendar year. In her native Brazil, she returned as a national heroine, honored by the country's president and given a ticker-tape parade on the streets of São Paulo.[15]

According to Lance Tingay of the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail and Bud Collins, Bueno was ranked in the world top ten from 1958 through 1960 and from 1962 through 1968, reaching a career high of World No. 1 in those rankings in 1959 and 1960.[16] The International Tennis Hall of Fame also lists her as the top ranked player in 1964 (after losing the final at the French Championships and winning both Wimbledon and the U.S. Championships) and 1966.

Bueno won the singles title at Wimbledon three times and at the U.S. Championships four times.[7] She was a singles finalist at the Australian Championships and the French Championships, losing both finals to Margaret Smith. Bueno reached at least the quarterfinals in each of the first 26 Grand Slam singles tournaments she played.[8] This streak ended at Wimbledon in 1967 when she lost in the fourth round because of an arm injury.[citation needed]

As a doubles player, Bueno won twelve Grand Slam championships with six different partners. In 1960, she became the first woman to win the women's doubles title at all four Grand Slam tournaments in the same calendar year, partnered with Christine Truman at the Australian Championships and Hard at the French Championships, Wimbledon, and the U.S. Championships.[17]

Her playing career was affected by various arm and leg injuries.[6][8] She played only intermittently after 1968; her final tournament win was the Japan Open in 1974, her only professional win.[4][8] She retired from playing in 1977.[18]

Her playing style was described as bold and aggressive; she had a hard serve, was a strong volleyer, and often came into the net.[8] Bud Collins described her as "incomparably balletic and flamboyant".[8] She did not use a coach,[6][8] and attributed her speed on the court to training with men.[6] The American player Billie Jean King acknowledged her as an influence.[19] She was also known for her on-court style, wearing tennis dresses designed by Ted Tinling.[6][8]

Later career edit

Bueno worked as a commentator for SporTV, a Brazilian cable television sports channel.[18]

Death edit

Bueno died on 8 June 2018, aged 78, at a hospital in São Paulo, Brazil, where she had been admitted for mouth cancer.[20][4] She was diagnosed in 2016 with virulent Merkel-cell carcinoma, a rare and highly aggressive skin cancer.[21] A minute's applause in honour of Bueno was held as a tribute before the Women's Singles final at the 2018 French Open the day after her death.[22]

Honours edit

In 1959 Correios do Brasil issued a postal stamp honouring her title at the Wimbledon Ladies Singles Championships.[8] That same year the Associated Press voted her Female Athlete of the Year.[20] In 1978, Bueno was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island.[8]

Bueno was awarded the International Club's prestigious Jean Borotra Sportsmanship Award in 2003.

The Seniors World Team Championships for the women's 50 age category is named "Maria Esther Bueno Cup" by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) in her honour.[23] In 2015 the centre court of the Olympic Tennis Centre in Rio de Janeiro was named after her.[24]

In October 2018, Maria Esther Bueno received the Medal of Sporting Merit from the Chamber of Councilors of São Paulo, according to the Resolution 03/2014. The award is instituted within the scope of the Municipality of São Paulo, to be awarded annually to the entity or citizen of São Paulo in recognition of the relevance of services rendered in favor of sport in the Municipality of São Paulo, or that, in any case, have contributed to the aggrandizement of the sport or significantly encourage its practice, whether through personal goals achieved or activity with society.[25]

Grand Slam finals edit

Bueno won 19 and Loss 16 of her Grand Slam finals.[26][27] This represents a success rate of 54%.

Singles: 12 (7 titles, 5 runners-up) edit

Result Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Won 1959 Wimbledon Grass   Darlene Hard 6–4, 6–3
Won 1959 U.S. Championships Grass   Christine Truman 6–1, 6–4
Won 1960 Wimbledon (2) Grass   Sandra Reynolds 8–6, 6–0
Loss 1960 U.S. Championships Grass   Darlene Hard 4–6, 12–10, 4–6
Won 1963 U.S. Championships (2) Grass   Margaret Court 7–5, 6–4
Loss 1964 French Championships Clay   Margaret Court 7–5, 1–6, 2–6
Won 1964 Wimbledon (3) Grass   Margaret Court 6–4, 7–9, 6–3
Won 1964 U.S. Championships (3) Grass   Carole Caldwell Graebner 6–1, 6–0
Loss 1965 Australian Championships Grass   Margaret Court 7–5, 4–6, 2–5, ret.
Loss 1965 Wimbledon Grass   Margaret Court 4–6, 5–7
Loss 1966 Wimbledon Grass   Billie Jean King 3–6, 6–3, 1–6
Won 1966 U.S. Championships (4) Grass   Nancy Richey 6–3, 6–1

Doubles: 16 (11 wins, 5 runners-up) edit

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Won 1958 Wimbledon Grass   Althea Gibson   Margaret Osborne duPont
  Margaret Varner
6–3, 7–5
Loss 1958 U.S. Championships Grass   Althea Gibson   Jeanne Arth
  Darlene Hard
6–2, 3–6, 4–6
Loss 1959 U.S. Championships Grass   Sally Moore   Jeanne Arth
  Darlene Hard
2–6, 3–6
Won 1960 Australian Championships Grass   Christine Truman   Lorraine Coghlan Robinson
  Margaret Court
6–2, 5–7, 6–2
Won 1960 French Championships Clay   Darlene Hard   Ann Haydon-Jones
  Patricia Ward Hales
6–2, 7–5
Won 1960 Wimbledon (2) Grass   Darlene Hard   Sandra Reynolds
  Renée Schuurman
6–4, 6–0
Won 1960 U.S. Championships Grass   Darlene Hard   Ann Haydon-Jones
  Deidre Catt
6–1, 6–1
Loss 1961 French Championships Clay   Darlene Hard   Sandra Reynolds
  Renée Schuurman
Won 1962 U.S. Championships (2) Grass   Darlene Hard   Billie Jean Moffitt
  Karen Hantze Susman
4–6, 6–3, 6–2
Won 1963 Wimbledon (3) Grass   Darlene Hard   Margaret Court
  Robyn Ebbern
8–6, 9–7
Loss 1963 U.S. Championships Grass   Darlene Hard   Margaret Court
  Robyn Ebbern
6–4, 8–10, 3–6
Won 1965 Wimbledon (4) Grass   Billie Jean Moffitt   Françoise Dürr
  Janine Lieffrig
6–2, 7–5
Won 1966 Wimbledon (5) Grass   Nancy Richey   Margaret Court
  Judy Tegart
6–3, 4–6, 6–4
Won 1966 U.S. Championships (3) Grass   Nancy Richey   Billie Jean King
  Rosemary Casals
6–3, 6–4
Loss 1967 Wimbledon Grass   Nancy Richey   Rosemary Casals
  Billie Jean King
11–9, 4–6, 2–6
Won 1968 US Open (4) Grass   Margaret Court   Billie Jean King
  Rosemary Casals
4–6, 9–7, 8–6

Mixed doubles: 7 (1 win, 6 runners-up) edit

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Loss 1958 U.S. Championships Grass   Alex Olmedo   Margaret Osborne duPont
  Neale Fraser
3–6, 6–3, 7–9
Loss 1959 Wimbledon Grass   Neale Fraser   Darlene Hard
  Rod Laver
4–6, 3–6
Won 1960 French Championships Clay   Bob Howe   Ann Haydon-Jones
  Roy Emerson
1–6, 6–1, 6–2
Loss 1960 Wimbledon Grass   Bob Howe   Darlene Hard
  Rod Laver
11–13, 6–3, 6–8
Loss 1960 U.S. Championships Grass   Antonio Palafox   Margaret Osborne duPont
  Neale Fraser
3–6, 2–6
Loss 1965 French Championships Clay   John Newcombe   Margaret Court
  Ken Fletcher
4–6, 4–6
Loss 1967 Wimbledon Grass   Ken Fletcher   Billie Jean King
  Owen Davidson
6–3, 2–6, 13–15

Grand Slam singles tournament timeline edit

(W) winner; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (DNQ) did not qualify; (A) absent; (NH) not held; (SR) strike rate (events won / competed); (W–L) win–loss record.
Tournament 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969–1975 1976 1977 Career SR
Australia A A A QF A A A A F A A A A A A / A 0 / 2
France 1R SF QF SF QF A A F SF SF QF QF A 1R A 0 / 11
Wimbledon A QF W W A SF QF W F F 4R QF A 4R 3R 3 / 12
United States A QF W F A SF W W SF W 2R SF A 3R 2R 4 / 12
SR 0 / 1 0 / 3 2 / 3 1 / 4 0 / 1 0 / 2 1 / 2 2 / 3 0 / 4 1 / 3 0 / 3 0 / 3 0 / 0 0 / 3 0 / 2 7 / 37

Note: The Australian Open was held twice in 1977, in January and December.

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ Bueno won the Italian Championships again in 1961 and 1965 to become the second three-time winner of the tournament after Margaret Smith.[11]

References edit

  1. ^ Schudel, Matt (9 June 2018). "Maria Bueno, Brazilian tennis star who won 3 Wimbledon singles titles, dies at 78". The Washington Post. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  2. ^ "Maria BUeno, 60 years on – The Championships, Wimbledon 2021 – Official Site by IBM". Archived from the original on 21 February 2022.
  3. ^ "O Globo – 4 July 2017". Maria Esther Bueno. Archived from the original on 21 February 2022.
  4. ^ a b c d "Maria Bueno, Brazilian tennis star, dies aged 78". The Guardian. 9 June 2018.
  5. ^ a b "The early years: Fast track to the top: 1939 to 1959". Maria Esther Bueno. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Maria Bueno, three-time Wimbledon champion whose pink knickers caused a storm, dies from cancer". The Daily Telegraph. 9 June 2018. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  7. ^ a b Leigh Walsh (29 May 2014). "Throwback Thursday: Maria Bueno Wins Her Third Wimbledon". wimbledon,com. AELTC. Archived from the original on 31 May 2014.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Maria Bueno". International Tennis Hall of Fame.
  9. ^ "Europeans rate Bueno as next tennis champ". The Miami News. 16 August 1958. p. 2C – via
  10. ^ Paul Newman (16 August 2016). "From the archive: Maria Bueno, pride of Brazil". AELTC.
  11. ^ "Maria Bueno Cops Italian Net Crown". Schenectady Gazette. Associated Press. 12 May 1965. p. 36 – via Google News Archive.
  12. ^ "Australians Fail in Wimbledon Doubles Attempt". The Canberra Times. Vol. 32, no. 9, 525. Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 7 July 1958. p. 12. Retrieved 10 June 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  13. ^ "Fraser And Emerson Tale Doubles Title". The Canberra Times. Vol. 33, no. 9, 334. Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 6 July 1959. p. 6. Retrieved 10 June 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  14. ^ "Maria Bueno: A Brazilian Tennis Legend". WTA. 26 February 2014.
  15. ^ "Wimbledon Champions: Women's top 25". The Telegraph. 28 June 2008.
  16. ^ Collins, Bud (2008). The Bud Collins History of Tennis: An Authoritative Encyclopedia and Record Book. New York, N.Y: New Chapter Press. pp. 695, 703. ISBN 978-0-942257-41-0.
  17. ^ Collins, Bud (2016). The Bud Collins History of Tennis (3rd ed.). New York: New Chapter Press. pp. 589–590. ISBN 978-1-937559-38-0.
  18. ^ a b "Maria Bueno: Brazilian star of 1960s women's tennis dies". BBC. 9 June 2018. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  19. ^ "Seven-time Grand Slam champion Maria Esther Bueno, who passed away on Friday, was "the first superstar of South America"". Women's Tennis Association. 9 June 2018. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  20. ^ a b "Brazilian Tennis Great Maria Bueno Dies After Cancer Battle". The New York Times. 8 June 2018.
  21. ^ Obituaries, Telegraph (10 June 2018). "Maria Bueno, three-times women's singles champion at Wimbledon – obituary". The Telegraph.
  22. ^ Lehman, Stan; Savarese, Mauricio (9 June 2018). "Brazilian tennis great Maria Bueno dies after cancer battle". The Bradenton Herald. Associated Press. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  23. ^ "Maria Esther Bueno Cup (W50)". International Tennis Federation (ITF).
  24. ^ Carol Fontes (12 December 2016). "Paes inaugura arena olímpica de tênis em homenagem a Maria Esther Bueno". (in Portuguese).
  25. ^ "Sessão Solene Archives". 27 June 2023.
  26. ^ Robertson, Max (1974). The Encyclopedia of Tennis. London: Allen & Unwin. pp. 175, 213. ISBN 9780047960420.
  27. ^ Collins, Bud (2010). The Bud Collins History of Tennis (2nd ed.). [New York]: New Chapter Press. p. 555. ISBN 978-0942257700.

External links edit