BREAKING – Legendary coach of ten former number one tennis champions, dies

The legendary tennis coach and mentor to many famous names on the tennis circuit, Nick Bollettieri has died aged 91. 

According to AP News, the President & Founder of IMG Academy Bollettieri tennis program passed away sometime on Monday, December 5. 

Born in New York to Italian parents Bolletieri started coaching tennis after dropping out of law school, eventually setting up his own academy back in 1978. 

Pioneering the live-in academy for prospective champions, he went on to coach some of the biggest names the sport has ever seen including Andre Agassi, Maria Sharapova, Monica Seles, Boris Becker and the Williams sisters.

His style of coaching has been replicated over the years with many academies opening up to provide live-in programmes.

Ever the charismatic individual, the tennis world has come out to express their sorrow at the loss of the great man. 

Among those Chris Evert, the former world No 1, wrote on Twitter: “Aside from being the greatest coach ever, you were so kind to me, my parents, and my siblings … that meant more to me than anything, you had a big heart and a zest for living.”

The former world No 2 Tommy Haas, another Bollettieri success story and current tournament director of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, wrote on Instagram: “So many memories, I am not sure where to begin. Nickiiiii, that’s how I have called you for the longest time. Thank you for your time, knowledge, commitment, expertise, the willingness to share your skill, your personal interest in mentoring me, and giving me the best opportunity to follow my dreams.

“You were a dreamer and a doer, and a pioneer in our sport, truly one of a kind.”

Bolletieri will always be remembered for being the legendary coach of ten former number one tennis champions, his memory will live on as his academy continues and others emulate his methods. 

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]