Career in numbers

MARIA ESTHER BUENO

  • Date of Birth:11 October, 1939 / Date of Death: 8 June 2018
  • Place of Birth: Sâo Paulo, Brazil / Place of Death: Sâo Paulo, Brazil
  • Place of Residence: Sâo Paulo, Brazil
  • Height: 5’ 7” (1.70 m)
  • Weight: 124 lbs (56 kgs)
  • Played: Right-handed
  • Status: Pro (1968)

Grand Slam History – Singles

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Australia**QF****F*********
Roland GarrosSFQFSFQF**FSFSFQFQF******
WimbledonQFWW*SFQFWFF4RQF*4R3R**Dbles only
Forest HillsQFWF*SFWWSFW*SF******

Singles Winner:

GRAND SLAMS: Wimbledon – 59, 60 & 64; USA – 59, 63, 64 & 66

OTHERS: AUSTRALIA, Adelaide – 60; AUSTRIA, Vienna – 61; BELGIUM, Antwerp – 60, 67; BRAZIL, Nationals – Senior – 54; Under 14s – 54, Under 21s – 55; Under 18s – 56, 57; South American Champion – 64; Sâo Paulo Under 14s – 53; COLOMBIA, Barranquilla -60, 61; GERMANY, Wiesbaden – 58; Dusseldorf – 58; Baden Baden – 62, 64; GREAT BRITAIN, Manchester – 67; Bristol – 58, 59; Birmingham – 59, 60; Eastbourne – 68; Beckenham – 64; Newport, Wales – 64, 66; IRELAND, Dublin – 64, 65; ITALY, Rome – 58, 61, 65; Florence – 65; Turin – 61; JAPAN, Tokyo – 74; NETHERLANDS, Hilversum – 62; PUERTO RICO, San Juan – 61; SOUTH AFRICA, East London – 64; Cape Town – 63, 64; Johannesburg – 63; Pretoria – 64; SWEDEN, Båstad – 62; SWITZERLAND, Gstaad – 60; Montana – 65; USA, Orange Bowl – 57; Tampa – 58; St Petersburg – 58; Fort Lauderdale – 57, 58; Orlando – 58; Hollywood – 58; Miami – 58; Jacksonville – 58; Houston – 58; Los Angeles – 64, 66; San Francisco – 66; Essex – 66, 68; Pipping Rock – 63; VENEZUELA, Caracas – 60, 61, 62, 63.

DOUBLES WINNER:

GRAND SLAMS: The Grand Slam of Doubles in 60 – Australia with Christine Truman (GBR), French, Wimbledon and USA with Darlene Hard (USA); WIMBLEDON – 58, 60, 63, 65, 66; USA – 60, 62, 63, 66, 68; FRENCH – 60.

OTHERS: ARGENTINA, Buenos Aires – 64; AUSTRALIA, Brisbane – 60; Sydney – 59; Perth – 60; Adelaide – 60; AUSTRIA, Vienna – 61; BELGIUM, Antwerp – 60; BRAZIL, Nationals – Under 14s – 53; Seniors – 54; Unders 21s – 55; Under 18s – 55, 57; South American Champion – 64; Sâo Paulo Seniors – 54, 56; COLOMBIA, Barranquilla – 57, 60, 61, 63; GERMANY, Wiesbaden – 58; Baden Baden – 62, 64; Munich – 66; GREAT BRITAIN, Manchester – 63; Birmingham – 59, 60; Eastbourne – 68; Nottingham – 63; Beckenham – 64; Hoylake – 66; Queen’s Club, London – 60; IRELAND, Dublin – 65; ITALY, Rome – 62; JAMAICA, Kingston – 57; Montego Bat – 57, 58, 63; PUERTO RICO, San Juan – 57, 58, 60, 62; SWEDEN, Båstad – 62; SWITZERLAND, Gstaad – 60, 65; Montana – 65; SOUTH AFRICA, East London – 63, 64; Cape Town – 63; Durban – 63; 64; Johannesburg – 63, 64; Bloemfontein – 63, 64; Pretoria – 64; USA, Tampa – 58; St Petersburg – 58; Coral Gables – 57, 58; Essex – 65, 68; Fort Lauderdale – 57, 58; Orlando – 58; Hollywood – 58; Henderson Park – 58; Miamia – 58; Houston – 58; Los Angeles – 58, 60, 62, 63; San Francisco – 58, 60, 62, 68; Richmond – 68; Chicago – 63; Pennsylvania – 63; South Orange – 63; Pipping Rock – 63; Honolulu – 65; VENEZUELA, Caracas – 59, 60, 61, 63.

MIXED DOUBLES WINNER:

GRAND SLAMS: FRANCE – 60

OTHERS: AUSTRALIA, Sydney – 59; Adelaide – 60; AUSTRIA, Vienna – 61; BRAZIL, Nationals: Seniors – 57; Sâo Paulo Seniors – 55; GERMANY, Berlin – 59; Baden Baden – 64; Munich – 65; GREAT BRITAIN, Beckenham – 65, 68; IRELAND, Dublin – 65; JAMAICA, Montego Bay – 57; SWEDEN, Båstad – 62; Switzerland, Gstaad – 60, 65; Montana – 65; VENEZUELA, Caracas – 60.

SINGLES FINALIST:

GRAND SLAMS: WIMBLEDON – 65, 66; USA – 60; FRANCE – 64; AUSTRALIA – 65.

OTHERS: ARGENTINA, Buenos Aires – 64; BRAZIL, Nationals – Under 14s – 52; Under18s – 55; South American Team Championships – 57; COLOMBIA, Barranquilla – 58, 63; GERMANY, Berlin – 59; Hamburg – 58, 64, 66; GREAT BRITAIN, Beckenham – 65, 66; Bristol – 62; Manchester – 58, 65; Nottingham – 63; IRELAND, Dublin – 77; ITALY, Rome – 62; Naples – 61; JAMAICA, Montego Bay – 58, 63; NETHERLANDS, Hilversum – 64; MOROCCO, Casablanca – 63; PUERTO RICO, San Juan – 60, 62; SOUTH AFRICA, East London – 63; Johannesburg – 64, 67; Bloemfontein – 64; SWITZERLAND, Gstaad – 65; USA, Coral Gables – 57, 58; West Palm Beach – 58; Los Angeles – 59, 68l; San Francisco – 63, 68; Essex – 62, 63; VENEZUELA, Caracas – 58, 59, 69.

DOUBLES FINALIST:

GRAND SLAMS: WIMBLEDON – 67; USA – 58, 59, 63; FRANCE – 61.

OTHERS: IRELAND, Dublin – 64; ITALY, Rome – 59; GERMANY, Hamburg – 65; GREAT BRITAIN, Bristol – 59; Neport, Wales – 64; Queen’s Club. London – 62; SOUTH AFRICA, Johannesburg – 67; VENEZUELA, Caracas – 58; CANADA, Toronto – 58; USA, Orange Bowl – 57; St Petersburg – 57; Los Angeles – 59, 68; Essex – 62; BRAZIL Nationals – Under 21s – 56, 57; South American Team Championships – 55; Sâo Paulo Seniors – 54.

MIXED DOUBLES FINALIST:

GRAND SLAMS: WIMBLEDON – 59, 60, 67; USA – 60; FRANCE – 64, 65.

OTHERS: BRAZIL, Nationals: Seniors – 57; Under 21s – 55; Sâo Paulo Seniors – 53; COLOMBIA, Barranquilla – 57, 58, 59; ITALY, Rome – 64; GERMANY, Dusseldorf – 58; Hamburg – 62, 66; Bielefeld – 62; GREAT BRITAIN, Newport, Wales – 66; Queen’s Club, London – 59; MOROCCO, Casablanca – 63; NETHERLANDS, Hilversum – 62, 64; SOUTH AFRICA, East London – 64; Johannesburg – 67; USA, West Palm Beach – 58; Jacksonville – 67.

ADDITIONAL

  • Declared World Champion in 1959, 1960, 1964 AND 1966
  • Ranked in the world Top Ten from 1958-1968
  • Brazilian Federation Cup team member in 1965, 76 and 77
  • Pan American Games: Champion – 63; 3rd Place Doubles – 55; Finalist Doubles – 63; Finalist Mixed Doubles – 63

QUICK FACTS

  • Won the singles at Wimbledon 3 times, the first in 1959 in just her second attempt at 19 years 266 days, one of the youngest champions of all time, and then again in 1960 and 64; She was a finalist twice in 1965 and 66
  • Amassed 19 Grand Slam titles in singles, doubles and mixed in a short career spanning just 10 years, listing 16th among all-time women’s Grand Slam leaders
  • She is in 12th place in the list of most prolific Grand Slam Singles Champions (excluding those won in the era of the Challenge Round)
  • In total, she won an amazing 589 titles
  • Injured her right elbow and forearm at Wimbledon in 1967 which ended her dominance of the women’s game and ultimately her rivalries with Margaret Smith Court and Billie Jean King. She retired in early 1969 on the Caribbean circuit
  • Made occasional appearances through the 70s, winning the Japan Open in 1974 and returning to Wimbledon for some nostalgic Centre Court matches in 1976 and 77
  • Played in the inaugural opening seasons of World Team Tennis in 1974 and 75
  • Her last appearance at Wimbledon in the open events was the 1980 mixed doubles with Victor Pecci, after which she continued to compete in the senior events until 1994
  • Voted Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press in 1959
  • Honoured in Brazil with an airmail postage stamp, five statues, a mural and a sculpture
  • In 1961, Madam Tussauds displayed a wax model of her in London
  • Inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1978
  • Elected to the Museum and Sports Hall of Fame in New York in 1993
  • Named the Best Latin American Tennis Player of the 20th Century to celebrate the Millennium
  • Received the Jean Borotra Sportsmanship Award presented by the International Club at Wimbledon 2003
  • In May 2006, received the prestigious Raccheta D’Oro Award in Rome
  • In October 2014, received the São Paulo medal and diploma, Medalha Anchieta e o Diploma de Gratidão de São Paulo, the highest accolade the state capital can bestow on a citizen
  • The Olympic Tennis Stadium in Rio de Janeiro was named the Maria Esther Bueno Stadium in December 2015
  • Carried the Olympic Torch through the main street in São Paulo on Sunday 24 July, 2016
  • Opened the Closing Ceremony of the 31st Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro at Maracanã Stadium by presenting the folded Brazilian flag during the National Anthem for flying alongside the Olympic flag
  • Did colour commentary for television and for the BBC Radio’s Brazilian World Service
  • Acted as a consultant to the ITF and COSAT and assisted with the development of professional women’s tennis events throughout Latin America
  • Spoke 5 languages (Portuguese, Spanish, English, French and Italian) and enjoys travelling, art museums and the theatre
  • Lived in Sâo Paulo, Brazil but visited the USA and the UK regularly up until her death on 8 June 2018 at Nove de Julho hospital in São Paulo
  • Honoured at her home club, the Sociedade Harmonia de Tênis in São Paulo, with a tournament bearing her name for the top 8 Under 23 male players competing for a wild card slot in the main draw at the ATP 500 pro event in Rio de Janeiro

Honorary Memberships

  • Clube de Regatas Tietê, São Paulo
  • Sociedade Harmonia de Tênis, São Paulo
  • The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon (1959)
  • The Harbour Club, Chelsea (9 December 1992)
  • Town Tennis Club, New York (6 February 1993)
  • Woodfield Grove Tennis Club, Streatham Hill (21 May 1993)
  • Beckenham Lawn Tennis Club / Cricket Club, Beckenham (16 May 1996)
  • The Park Langley Lawn Tennis Club, Beckenham (20 July 1996)