The American Nick Bollettieri, considered one of the most important tennis coaches in history for his transcendental role in the formation of several world number ones, including the Chilean Marcelo Ríos, died this Sunday at the age of 91.
Andre Agassi, Monica Seles, Jim Courier, Maria Sharapova, Tommy Haas, Martina Hingis, Venus and Serena Williams, Boris Becker and the “Chinese” These are just some of the students who went through the academy that Bolletieri opened in 1978 in Florida.
Although he was only an amateur player, as a coach he is considered a revolutionary, capable of getting the best out of each player, even at the cost of maximum demands.
He was also known for his open and extroverted character, and a good example of this is that two weeks ago, when the rumor that he had died spread through social networks, he himself denied it on Instagram by stating that “the old Italian dog” he was “alive and kicking”.
Son of transalpine immigrants, Bolletieri graduated in Philosophy and studied Law and served in the United States Army before beginning to teach tennis at a hotel in Puerto Rico. Once his vocation was discovered, he opened the academy that made him famous and that led dozens of players to the elite of world tennis.