SAO PAULO – Friends and relatives of Brazilian tennis great Maria Bueno have gathered for her wake at the Sao Paulo state Governor's Palace.
Bueno, who helped usher in modern women's tennis, died Friday after battling mouth cancer. She was 78.
"She was very courageous," her nephew Pedro Bueno told reporters. "She faced the disease with the same courage she always faced challenges. She played tennis until the very last moment."
He added: "She fought until the end, I think what she did on the court — with courage and determination — is what she did with the illness until the end, until the last days."
President of the Brazilian Tennis Confederation Rafael Westrupp said that Bueno was "the biggest name in Brazilian tennis" and the sport was "in mourning."