© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Tennis coach Nick Bollettieri laughs throughout a information convention the place he was launched as one of many 5 new inductees to the Worldwide Tennis Corridor of Fame in New York, March 3, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Segar/
(Reuters) -Nick Bollettieri, the larger-than-life coach whose famed Florida tennis academy modified the face of the sport by producing a few of its biggest gamers, has died on the age of 91, with ex-student Tommy Haas main tributes to the “considered one of a form” American.
The son of Italian immigrant mother and father, Bollettieri served in the USA military and dropped out of legislation college to turn into a coach, shaping the careers of high names together with Andre Agassi, Serena and Venus Williams, Monica Seles and Maria Sharapova.
A pioneering mentor who coached 10 world quantity ones, he was inducted into the Worldwide Tennis Corridor of Fame in 2014.
“Thanks on your time, data, dedication, experience, the willingness to share your talent, your private curiosity in mentoring me and giving me the very best alternative to observe my desires,” Indian Wells match director and Germany’s former world quantity two Haas wrote on Instagram.
“You have been a dreamer and a doer, and a pioneer in our sport, actually considered one of a form.”
Germany’s Sabine Lisicki, the 2013 Wimbledon runner-up, mentioned that Bollettieri had “formed the sport of tennis”.
“You’ve gotten given so many youngsters a spot to work for his or her dream. Supporting them along with your data and the idea that something is feasible. I used to be lucky to be considered one of them,” Lisicki wrote on Twitter.
“You’ll be dearly missed!”
Bollettieri’s daughter Angelique Anne had introduced on Fb (NASDAQ:) final month that her father was nearing the top.
“Dad is near transitioning to the subsequent place. Please hold him in your ideas for a peaceable departure and great journey. We love you, Daddy,” she wrote.
Reviews within the U.S. media mentioned Bollettieri died on Sunday.
Considered one of Bollettieri’s first completed college students was American Brian Gottfried, the world quantity three in 1977.
Bollettieri based the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy the next 12 months. It was purchased by the Worldwide Administration Group in 1987.
“RIP Nick Bollettieri. Apart from being the best coach ever, you have been so variety to me, my mother and father, and my siblings … that meant extra to me than something, you had an enormous coronary heart and a zest for dwelling,” mentioned former ladies’s primary Chris Evert.
Patrick Mouratoglou, one other famous coach who additionally labored with Serena Williams, mentioned that the tennis household had misplaced an necessary determine in Bollettieri.
“Somebody who has made our trade develop and has opened alternatives for coaches and gamers,” he mentioned. “We’ll bear in mind the very particular human being you have been and can miss you.”
Former world primary Billie Jean King referred to as Bollettieri one of many sport’s “most passionate coaches and advocates.
“Nick was all the time optimistic and was capable of get the very best out of everybody lucky sufficient to work with him,” King mentioned.
Canadian world quantity 18 Denis Shapovalov mentioned he cherished Bollettieri’s smart phrases.
“I’ll all the time bear in mind and recognize you popping out to my court docket and giving me recommendation,” he mentioned. “You’ve gotten given our sport a lot, and can all the time be remembered and cherished as one of many kindest, RIP Nick.”