Legendary tennis coach Nick Bollettieri has died at the age of 91 – two weeks after denying his own death on social media.
He founded the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy – now IMG Academy – with a focus on intense physical training, total immersion and ongoing competition among the most talented players in the world.
He helped shape the careers of Andre Agassi, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Jim Courier, Boris Becker, Monica Seles, Anna Kournikova, Tommy Haas, and many other leading players.
Bollettieri had been in poor health in recent years, with his daughter last month posting a picture on social media showing a frail Bollettieri, with the statement that “Dad is close to transitioning to the next place.
“Please keep him in your thoughts for a peaceful departure and wonderful journey.
“We love you, Daddy.”
Word spread on social media that the Hall of Fame member had died, with 2006 Australian Open semi-finalist Nicolas Kiefer one of many to share their condolences.
But in a statement on his official Instagram account, the former coach confirmed that reports of his death had been greatly exaggerated. ?
“I would like to assure everyone that contrary to what you may have heard, I am still alive and kicking,” he wrote.
“Not much can keep this old Italian dog down for long.
“I have my family here and lots of visitors, which makes me very happy!
“I love all the messages you send, the phone calls, and the voicemails you leave. I always say, ‘It ain’t easy’ but it sure is worth it.”
Yesterday, however, it was confirmed that Bollettieri had died.
Despite his prolific reputation as a tennis coach, Bollettieri’s playing career was limited to him playing the sport in high school.
Son of Italian American immigrants, Bollettieri graduated in philosophy in 1953 and later served in the United States Army.
He studied Law at the University of Miami but dropped out in 1956 before his tennis coaching career began at the Dorado Beach Hotel in Puerto Rico in the 1960s. –InsidethegamesRead Full Story