Brazilian tennis legend Maria Bueno dies at 78

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

In 1978, Bueno became the first South American to be inducted into the tennis Hall of Fame. She won her first major title as a 19-year-old, winning the 1959 Wimbledon.

She had been suffering from mouth cancer since a year ago and was hospitalized in May.

As she received the award, she said: "I'm not good, I'm afraid of everyone I play".

"We send our condolences to the friends and loved ones of Maria Bueno, a four-time #USOpen singles and doubles champion".

An arm injury forced her out of competition from 1969 to 1974.

Nicknamed "The Tennis Ballerina" because of her graceful style, Bueno spent most of her career on the court before the professional era. She was also the No. 1 ranked tennis player in the world in 1959, 1960, 1964 and 1966.

One of Ms. Bueno's outfits was lined in shocking pink, and whenever she leaned down to begin her serve, spectators tittered over the flash of forbidden color.

Another doubles partner was Billie Jean King, with whom she won the Wimbledon title in 1965.

Maria Esther Andion Bueno was born October 11, 1939, in Sao Paulo.

For years after retirement she was a commentator on Brazil's SporTV.

Off the court, Bueno also had an interest in fashion and played in dresses tailored by English couturier Ted Tinling. She went to the U.S. at the age of 17 to take her career to a higher level and had a strong determination to improve every single element of her game until she retired.

The keepers of Wimbledon tradition at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club were not amused and passed a stricter rule forbidding players to wear any color on the court other than white. "I had a lot of natural talent, but I had to work hard too", she told The Times.