Maria Esther Andion Bueno (born 11 October 1939) is a former professional tennis player from Brazil. During her 11-year career in the 1950s and 1960s (plus a two-year comeback in 1976–77), she won 19 Major titles (seven singles, 11 women's doubles, one mixed doubles). She was the year-end number-one ranked female player four times and was known for her graceful style of play.

In 1960, Bueno became the first woman ever to win all four Grand Slam double titles in one year (three with Darlene Hard and one with Christine Truman).

Career

Bueno began playing tennis at a very young age at the Clube de Regatas Tiete in Sao Paulo and, without having received any formal training, won her first tournament at age 12. [6] She was 14 when she captured her country's women's singles championship.

She went abroad in 1957 at age 17 and won the Orange Bowl juniors tournament in Florida. [7] Joining the international circuit in 1958, Bueno won the singles title at the Italian Championships and the first of her Grand Slam titles, capturing the women's doubles at Wimbledon with Althea Gibson.

The following year, Bueno won her first singles title at Wimbledon, defeating Darlene Hard in the final. She also won the singles title at the U.S. Championships after a straights set 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. [9] Bueno was the first non-North-American woman to capture 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. [10]

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. 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. [6] She was a singles finalist at the Australian Championships and the French Championships, losing both finals to Margaret Court. Bueno reached at least the quarterfinals in each of the first 26 Grand Slam singles tournaments she played. This streak ended at Wimbledon in 1967 when she lost in the fourth round because of an arm injury.

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 by Christine Truman at the Australian Championships and Hard at the French Championships, Wimbledon, and the U.S. Championships.

In 1978, Bueno was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

At the 2006 US Open, Maria Bueno was invited to attend the rededication ceremony of the USTA National Tennis Center as the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, which took place on the first day of the event. Bueno and King were rivals in singles and, on occasion, doubles partners. According to Bueno, the only players invited were those who had won the US Open "more than twice" (she won it four times). At the same event, Bueno debuted as a commentator for SporTV, a Brazilian cable television sports channel. She commentated on the women's singles semifinals and final and the men's singles final as well as offering opinions during the live broadcast of the USTA's induction of Martina Navratilova and Don Budge in the "Court of Champions".

Grand Slam finals: 35 (19 titles, 16 runners-up)

Bueno won 19 and lost 16 of her Grand Slam finals. This represents a success rate of 54%.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grand Slam singles tournament timeline

Key
W F SF QF #R RR Q# A NH
(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (NH) not held.
Tournament 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969–1975 1976 1977 Career SR
Australia A A QF A A A A F A A A A A A / A 0 / 2
France SF QF SF QF A A F SF SF QF QF A 1R A 0 / 10
Wimbledon QF W W A SF QF W F F 4R QF A 4R 3R 3 / 12
United States QF W F A SF W W SF W 2R SF A 3R 2R 4 / 12
SR 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 / 36

SR = the ratio of the number of Grand Slam singles tournaments won to the number of those tournaments played.

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

See also

Notes

  1. Bueno won the Italian Championships again in 1961 and 1965 to become the second three-time winner of the tournament. [8]