Maria Bueno: The grand slam champion who played with Princess Diana

Digital Marketing Aganecy

Story highlights

Maria Bueno won seven grand slam singles titles

She is Brazil’s most successful tennis player

Won first Wimbledon title at age of 17


Maria Bueno was always in the right place at the right time on the tennis court, but the Brazilian ended up in hot water with Buckingham Palace after a double fault of her own.

The seven-time grand slam winner was a playing partner of Princess Diana, gave tips to the young princes and got a ticking off for flouting royal protocol – but that hasn’t taken the shine off some priceless memories.

“She was fabulous,” the 76-year-old Bueno recalled of Diana, who died in 1997 after the car she was riding in slammed into a pillar in a Paris overpass. Her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, and their driver, Henri Paul, also died.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - FEBRUARY 16: Former WTA Tour player Flavia Pennetta of Italy poses with International Tennis Hall of Fame member Maria Bueno of Brazil during the Rio Open at Jockey Club Brasileiro on February 16, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Maria Bueno — Meet Brazil’s grand slam great

Three-time Wimbledon champion Bueno remembers getting the call to play with the British royals on the day that Diana and her children William and Harry, turned up to her local tennis club in London.

Read: Raonic pulls out of Rio over Zika fears

“She was so nice and so were the kids,” Bueno tells CNN’s Open Court show. “They played – it was something that I didn’t expect. It was a coincidence that I was there and I got to know them very well.”

Bueno, who won her first Wimbledon title at the age of 17, was one of the most talented and talked about players of her era.

Read: Love match – Ana Ivanovic marries Bastian Schweinsteiger

Her exploits, which also included 11 doubles titles and one mixed doubles crown, endeared her to the public and allowed her to mix with the rich and famous.

A seat in the Royal Box alongside celebrities and royalty meant she soon became familiar with the residents of Buckingham Palace.

“I had a special dinner with the Duke of Edinburgh and for 20 days beforehand I had protocol telling me what I should do,” she recalls.

“I was so late for the dinner because of the traffic, so I asked what I should do and someone said I should go in and apologize.

“Not only did I come in late but I came in from behind him and put my hand on the Duke’s shoulder – one of the biggest sins!

Have your say on our Facebook page

“He just said, ‘Ah, sit down,’ and he was really funny – he couldn’t care less whether I was late or early, and we had a wonderful time.

“But then I had to write a lot of letters to apologize to Buckingham Palace and Wimbledon for being late.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 27:  Teliana Pereira of Brazil plays a forehand shot during the Ladies Singles first round against Varvara Lepchenko of The United States on day one of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 27th, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Teliana Pereira’s inspirational path to Rio 2016

While she might have had her fingers burnt on that occasion, there were no problems with Princess Diana.

“She made sure that nobody else did anything when she was there,” Bueno says of dispensing with formalities.

Like this story? Get more at cnn.com/tennis

“She wanted to be treated like everybody would. She was fantastic with that.”

Source link

Digital Marketing Aganecy



Our customer support team is here to answer your questions. Ask us anything!
👋 Hi, how can I help?