Legendary tennis coach Nick Bollettieri, who has coached and guided players like Maria Sharapova, Andre Agassi, Monica Seles, Venus, and Serena Williams, is in his final days, as per his daughter Angelique.
Angelique Anne Bollettieri took to the social media site Facebook on Saturday to provide the unfortunate update about her celebrated father, who turned 91 this July.
"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," wrote Bollettieri's daughter.
Nick Bollettieri is widely regarded to have revolutionized tennis coaching by creating the concept of a tennis boarding school, which helps develop multiple aspects of a budding player.
Bollettieri's IMG Tennis Academy provides a holistic education and training program to aspiring tennis stars and is the go-to place for many promising tennis players across the world. Even well-established Grand Slam champions often avail the academy's facilities when preparing for important tournaments or during the off-season.
The legendary American has helped coach and develop stars like Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Monica Seles, and Mary Pierce. He has also guided and helped players like Maria Sharapova, Jelena Jankovic, Daniela Hantuchova, Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Martina Hingis and Kei Nishikori from time to time.
Bollettieri was also Boris Becker's tour-traveling coach in the mid-90s.
Recalling Nick Bollettieri's most memorable moment as coach and his thoughts on former pupil Maria Sharapova's career
Maria Sharapova moved from Russia to the United States at the age of nine, and soon after began training at Nick Bollettieri's academy. Sharapova is one of Bollettieri's prized pupils, having gone on to achieve the World No. 1 rank and the coveted Career Grand Slam.
That said, Sharapova's legacy took a hit in the wake of her doping scandal. And in a 2021 interview with Tennis365, Bollettieri was asked if he thought Sharapova would be annoyed by the situation.
But the American responded that Sharapova did not chase publicity, before heaping rich praise on her achievements in tennis.
"Maria knows what she did. She is not someone who goes looking for all the publicity to promote her game. Maria is a wonderful individual, a beautiful girl and let the record books speak for themselves. A career Grand Slam is special… that’s all you need to know baby," Nick Bollettieri said.
Bollettieri was also asked to name the most memorable moment from his coaching career. After explaining how he has never had the time or space to reflect on the countless laurels won by his numerous pupils, the American picked Andre Agassi's Wimbledon win in 1992.
"I don’t know if I ever stood still for long enough in my life to look back and think about what I achieved with my players. It was always a case of win one tournament, go to the next. There was no time to reflect. That is not how I work, but Andre Agassi winning Wimbledon was pretty special," he stated.
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