Well-known tennis coach, Nick Bollettieri, passed away on Sunday, November 20. The Italian-American coach was 91 years old at the time of his death. Bollettieri helped shape the lives of several top tennis players, including Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Monica Seles, the Williams sisters, and Maria Sharapova, among others.
Brian Gottfried was also one of the first players he helped train.
Nick Bollettieri’s legacy will live on
Despite his prolific reputation as a tennis coach, Bollettieri’s playing career was limited to playing the sport in high school.
His coaching career began at the Dorado Beach Hotel in Puerto Rico in the 1960s before starting his own academy a decade later in 1978. The Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy was the first of its kind when it was established in Florida (Bradenton ) for previous years. In the beginning, tennis players had nowhere to stay and learn and improve their game.
Less than a decade after its inception, the academy was sold to IMG. However, Bollettieri continued to help train the visiting players with the desire to improve his tactical knowledge. In addition to an illustrious coaching career, Bollettieri is also the author of his autobiography and a book that delves into various technical aspects of the game.
Bollettieri had been suffering physically in recent years. In 2020, Bollettieri, then 88 years old, fell on the pitch during an active training session. Jimmy Arias, former US Open semifinalist and world no. 5 had shared back then: “He (Jimmy) called me, I spoke to him last night and he was in a great mood, except he’s a guy who’s never been to the doctor.
He refuses to go to the doctor; she is afraid of needles… Now she feels better”. According to reports published at the time, Bollettieri had had a kidney infection. As recently as Saturday, Bollettieri’s daughter, Angelique Anne Bollettieri, had announced on Facebook that her father was on her deathbed.
Her post read: “Dad is close to transitioning to the next place. Please keep him in your thoughts for a peaceful departure and a wonderful journey. We love you daddy». He had also tagged a frail-looking Bollettieri in the post, surrounded by members of his family. Photo Credit: IMG Academy