Former tennis coach Nick Bollettieri (1931-2022) died on December 4 at the age of 91. This is reported by several media unanimously. His protégés included Andre Agassi (52), Monica Seles (49), Tommy Haas (44), Anna Kurnikova (41) and Boris Becker (55).
Some greats in the tennis world have already publicly said goodbye to Bollettieri. Tommy Haas, who started at Bollettieri's academy at the age of 13, explained via Instagram: "Thank you for your time, your knowledge, your commitment, your expertise, your willingness to share your skills, your personal interest in mentoring me and giving me the best opportunity to follow my dreams." In addition, the former German tennis star published several photos showing him with Bollettieri. "You were a dreamer and a doer and a pioneer in our sport, truly one of a kind."
Sabine Lisicki (33) also paid tribute to the tennis coach via Twitter: "Thank you Nick! You gave so many children a place to live their dreams. You supported them with your knowledge and belief that everything is possible. You shaped the game of tennis."
Nick Bollettieri was born Nicholas James Bollettieri on July 31, 1931 in Pelham, New York. After serving in the military and not completing his law degree, he began his career as a tennis coach in 1956. He was an autodidact and initially began giving lessons on public tennis courts for little money.
He later founded the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, which later became the IMG Academy, on the west coast of Florida. There he formed numerous world-class players. Bollettieri has been a member of the Tennis Hall of Fame since 2014. He was married eight times, most recently to Cindi Eaton.