Maria Bueno, born on October 11, 1939, is considered one of the best players on her time. Bueno is perhaps best known for her 19 Grand Slam titles and for holding the World no. 1 spot four times during the course of her career.
Bueno was born in Sao Paolo, Brazil, and played tennis as a hobby as a young child. Despite the lack of formal training, she won her first tournament at the age of twelve and Brazil’s singles women’s championship when she was 14. She joined the international circuit in 1958 and won her first Grand Slam title at the Women’s doubles in Wimbledon with partner Althea Gibson. Her first Grand Slam singles title came a year later, in Wimbledon after defeating Darlene Hard. Her subsequent victory at the US championships earned her the world no. 1 spot in 1959 and the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year Award. These victories also made Bueno the first non-American woman to win both titles in the same year and boosted her popularity back home.
She won the singles title in Wimbledon three times and the Nationals titles four times. She also won 12 doubles championships with 6 different partners, and made headlines when she captured the doubles Grand Slam in tennis in 1960.
Aside from her flair on the court, Bueno was also known for her style and fashion sense, and for her relationship with couturier Ted Tinling who styled most of her dresses. Bueno was inducted to the international Tennis Hall of Fame in 1978. She debuted as a TV commentator for SporTV, a Brazilian sports channel in 2006, and participated in the TV broadcasts of USTA’s Court of Champions induction of Martina Navrátilová and Don Budge.