Nick Bollettieri has passed away: the farewell of a tennis legend

In the end he didn’t make it: Nick Bollettieri died on December 4, 2022, after there had been rumors about his deteriorating health in recent weeks. The famous US coach has had several physical problems in the last two years, but at the same time, as confirmed by former tennis player Jimmy Arias, in a photo of them together, Bollettieri refused to go to the doctor, also for fear of needles.

During his career, Bollettieri opened a well-known tennis academy and helped launch legends of the sport such as André Agassi, Jim Courier, Monica Seles, Serena and Venus Williams and the Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova.

A man destined to make tennis history. Tennis World USA staff joins in the condolences that the wolrd of sports is offering to the legendary Nick Bolletieri.

Nick Bollettieri’s career

Son of Italian-American immigrants, Nick 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 to start teaching tennis at the prestigious Wayland Academy. Among his first students are Sheryl Smith and Brian Gottfried. Bollettieri became director of tennis operations at the Dorado Beach Hotel in Puerto Rico in the early 1970s, a property owned by the Rockefeller family.

During these years, Nick’s main assistant is Julio Moros, who will follow Nick to Florida when he decides to found his own academy. In 1977 Bollettieri left Puerto Rico and settled in Longboat Key, Florida, as a tennis teacher at the Colony Beach and Tennis Resort.

After working for various structures, in 1978 he opened his own tennis academy in Bradenton, Florida, on an area of 40 acres. In 1987 the International Management Group took over the academy, however leaving Nick the task of directing it.

The first tennis player coached by Bollettieri to reach the top of the ATP rankings is US champion Jim Courier; Bollettieri in 1993 then became the coach of Boris Becker who had already reached the top of the ATP ranking on January 28, 1991.

The first to reach the top of the WTA ranking is the very young Monica Seles a few weeks after Becker, on March 11, 1991. On May 18, 2008, he received an honorary degree from the New York College of Health Professions for his commitment to the world of sport, fitness and wellness in general. He also collaborates with the newspaper Tennis Magazine and wrote his autobiography entitled My Aces, My Faults.

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