Sometimes Maria Bueno’s dominance of women’s tennis is overlooked by the younger generations because her influence in laying the foundations for the WTA Tour happened before the association was founded in 1973 and so-called official records began being formally tracked in the Open Era.
It is therefore heartening to see her contribution being acknowledged by WTA staff in the following article that appeared on wtatennis.com on 21 April 2015.
Bueno, Dias, Pereira: The Connection?
BOGOTÁ, Colombia – On Sunday, after she won her first WTA title at the Claro Open Colsanitas in Bogotá, we at wtatennis.com told you that Teliana Pereira was the first Brazilian woman to win a WTA title since Neige Dias won Barcelona in April 1988, a few months before Pereira was even born.
Well, it turns out there’s even more to it – in the entire Open Era, which began in 1968, Pereira is just the third Brazilian woman at all to win a WTA title, after Maria Bueno and Neige Dias.
Bueno, whose career spanned almost three decades until she retired in 1977, won three WTA titles in the Open Era – Eastbourne and Manchester in 1968 and Tokyo [Japan Open] in 1974. But she won 71 titles all-time, including seven Grand Slam titles – three Wimbledons in 1959, 1960 and 1964 and four US Opens in 1959, 1963, 1964 and 1966. She also won 11 Grand Slam doubles titles and one mixed.
The São Paulo native was inducted into the International Tennis Hall Of Fame in 1979.
Dias won two WTA titles in her career, in Guaruja, Brazil in 1987 and in Barcelona, Spain in 1988.
After her title run in Bogotá, Pereira soared from No.130 to No.81 on the WTA Rankings, passing her previous career-high of No.87. She’s the only South American player in the Top 100 and one of only two Latin American players in the Top 100, after Puerto Rico’s Monica Puig, who’s currently No.47.
Check out some highlights from Pereira’s victory over Yaroslava Shvedova in the Bogotá final here:
And here are a few pics of Bueno – first at Wimbledon in 1960, then at Wimbledon in 1977, and then with WTA Rising Star Kurumi Nara after the Japanese won her first WTA title in Rio de Janeiro in 2014.
A Brazilian Icon comments:
Maria has had the chance to get a little closer to the current generation of Brazilian players through her involvement with the Brazilian Open in São Paulo and the Rio Open.
“Tennis is played all over the world and players are on the road for many months at a time so you don’t run in to them very much except, perhaps, at the Grand Slams where you say a few words in passing,” said Maria.
“At our home events, it is very different and we get to spend some time together!
“Teliana [Pereira] qualified in Rio in 2014 and has since risen to No 81 on the WTA Rankings so she is building her career well.
“To win in Bogota is a great run for her, especially since she beat [Francesca] Schiavone, the fourth seed in straight sets in the opening round and went on to take out the top seed Elina Svitolina in the semis and then Yaroslava Schedova, the fifth seed, in the final.
“And she didn’t drop a set!
“This has to be good for women’s tennis in Brazil,” added the nineteen Grand Slam champion, who is a national icon in her homeland.