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Florida's Bollettieri Inducted Into Tennis Hall of Fame

July 14, 2014 09:24 AM
BollettieriIt was a long time coming -- some might say too long -- but Florida coaching legend Nick Bollettieri on Saturday finally walked out on the grasscourt lawns of the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I., inducted into the hallowed hall for his contribution to the sport of tennis.

"This is not a Nick Bollettieri award," said the man who has coached or mentored eight players who would go on to rank No. 1 in the world. "This award belongs to all of you, all of the people. And this award became possible by people saying, 'Nick, you can't do it.' When anybody says, 'Nick, you can't do it,' that's when I did it."

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Founder of the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton in 1978, over the years he has worked with players such as Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Boris Becker, Marcelo Rios, Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Monica Seles and former world No. 2 and current player Tommy Haas among others.

Bollettieri's was the first full-time tennis boarding school, and became the model for other programs in Florida and across the nation.

"No one can do it without teamwork," he said. "It just doesn't happen. So I'm very blessed to have had the players, my friends who bailed me out many times. And I have been bailed out many times. But this award is far more than anybody could ever dream for. I want to thank all of you for the publicity both complimentary and not complimentary. My daddy said, 'Son, when they're talking about you, baby, they're thinking about you.'"

Also inducted were British commentator John Barrett, former world No. 1 and three-time Slam winner Lindsay Davenport, former WTA and USTA executive Jane Brown Grimes, and wheelchair tennis pioneer Chantal Vandierendonck.

For more info go to www.tennisfame.com.


 
 

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