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Queens of the Court: Maria Bueno, Fire and Ice 11

Posted on November 29, 2009 by JA Allen

Maria Bueno won severn Grand Slam singles titles.

Maria Bueno won seven Grand Slam singles titles.

You are ice and fire with a touch that burns my hands like snow—Amy Lowell

Maria Esther Andion Bueno rose to the top of women’s tennis in the ’50s and ’60s, employing her natural ability to carve a unique mark on the women’s game.

Bueno grew up during an era prior to the movement known as women’s liberation.  Back then she was a novelty—a woman born with natural athletic gifts who lived to find and fulfill her destiny.  Such a feat was rare in those days because even superlative women often remained wedged in their seats at the back of the bus.

Remarkably, Bueno won seven grand slam singles championships, three Wimbledons, and four U.S. Open titles, 11 doubles championships with six different partners, and one mixed doubles title with partner Bob Howe at the French Championships in 1960—for a total of 19 grand slam crowns.

She was ranked in the top 10 in the world from 1958 through 1960 and then again from 1962 through 1968.  She held the No. 1 ranking in 1959, 1960, and in 1964.

Bueno, born on Oct. 11, 1939, resided in Sau Paulo, Brazil.  Her father and mother both loved and played tennis socially.  The family lived modestly in comfortable middle class society in a home directly across the street from a tennis club facility.

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