Nick Bollettieri: The International Tennis Hall of Fame Experience - UBITENNIS
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Nick Bollettieri: The International Tennis Hall of Fame Experience

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TENNIS NICK BOLLETTIERI – As many of you know, I was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on July 11 along with Lindsey Davenport, John Barrett, Jane Brown, and Chantal Vandierendonck. Receiving this award was a great honor and it had a big impact on me. I would like to use this month’s article to share my thoughts about my induction into the International Hall of Fame because I never thought this would happen. By Nick Bollettieri

 

I started teaching tennis nearly 60 years ago on two run down courts in Miami. I was a pretty good athlete and played many sports growing up but I didn’t play tennis until I was in college. I picked the game up quickly and made my college tennis team as a junior and senior. After college I enrolled in law school but quickly realized I did not want to spend my life in an office. I loved being outside and being in the sun. Because I needed to provide for my new family, I figured I would try teaching tennis. I didn’t know much about teaching the game but I was willing to work hard to learn. I also realized that I had an ability to relate to players, motivate them, and bring out their best. I dreamed about one day becoming one of the best coaches in the world.

Because of my brashness and bravado however, I had a tendency to rub the tennis establishment the wrong way. In fact, for most of my career I was considered a little crazy and a bit of a rebel. I guess to do some of the things in tennis that I’ve done, you have to be a little crazy. Because of the love and encouragement of my parents, I had the courage to follow my dreams and not be afraid of failure. My father told me what’s important is not that you fall down, it’s how you get up that counts. He said if you’re afraid to fail, you’re also afraid to be successful. With that encouragement I had the courage to do some crazy things like creating the first boarding tennis academy, believing that I could help players become top professionals, and working with 10 players who became number one in the world.

Many people have asked for my thoughts on the Hall of Fame honor and a copy of my speech. Here are some of the comments I made that day:

Wow, now I know exactly how it feels for those to reach the top of Mount Everest!! And, may I say the view from up here is amazing!

I’d like to start off by saying congratulations to my fellow members of the Class of 2014. It’s an honor and privilege to be in the same company as you Lindsey, John, Jane, and Chantal.

It’s not often that I am humbled – as those of you who know me will tell you – but, being honored a long side the four of you today is something I will cherish for a lifetime.

I’d also like to thank all of you who voted for me…(for a while I thought I was going to be the Susan Lucci of the tennis world!)…so, your vote means the world to me, it really does.

Now, I didn’t reach the top of this mountain by myself. In fact, we Italians don’t like to do anything by ourselves…. So, do me a favor, please….. If I, Nick Bollettieri, have ever yelled at you – either on or off court – please stand up now.

Wow…. We made it! Can you believe it? It only took 60 years…. But we made it! It is truly because of you that I am standing right here today. I wish I could name and thank each one of you individually, but we’d be here long after dark.

There is really no way I could ever thank you enough for making my journey such a great one. Just know that I love you…and I always yell at those I love the most…so you can expect to hear this old raspy voice hollering for many more years!

Okay…..now you can sit down….

It sure would have been a lot easier and faster if we had taken the well-worn path up the mountain…

But, when you were brave enough to follow me when I forged my own path which others found to be unorthodox and downright crazy….but, we made it and we sure had a whole lot of fun getting here! Thanks again to all of you!

I may not have been too good of a student, but I’ve always been pretty good with numbers…..in fact, I guess you could say I’m “A Man of Numbers”….

Let’s see… there’s

10 Numbers Ones

9 Lives

8 Wives

7 Amazing Children

Having a 6th Sense

5 o’clock …. The time my first student meets me on court

4 Beautiful Grandchildren

3 Years of Service to our Country

2 Great Parents

1 Passion

0 – The number of books I have read in my lifetime!

Whew…..try saying THAT three times fast!

Add in the rest of my family;

And friends, coaches, and players who are like family;

And the thousands of kids I have had the privilege of working with over the years

And you’ve got me in a nutshell….

The fuel that has sustained me to the summit is without a doubt my passion to help others become champions of life. Nothing makes me more happy than when I run into a past student or receive a kind note telling me of how I changed their lives…that they are better parents, lawyers, doctors, CEO’s PEOPLE because of ….

Their passion to try to reach their full potential…

To not quit when the going gets tough….

To know that when I was yelling at them what I was really saying was,

“I believe in you and I want you to believe in yourself because you can do it…you can do anything you are willing to work for”.

That’s how we made it up this mountain…by pushing each other, making huge sacrifices and being there for each other.

I will never be remembered for my business sense,

Or for my luck with marriages

Or for putting my family first…

What I hope I will be remembered for is

DARING TO FOLLOW MY PASSION AND HOPEFULLY IGNITING THAT SAME SPARK OF PASSION IN OTHERS!

Thank you again for this tremendous honor.

IMG Bollettieri Academy logo 2For Information on the Bollettieri Academy in Italy Contact Fiorella Bonfanti

Tel: +39 348 035 7450;

email: fbsports57@gmail.com

IMG Bollettieri academy logo

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Gerard Pique Believes Long-Term Davis Cup Project Will Work Despite Critics

Gerard Pique claims that the new Davis Cup is a long-term project as the competition kicks off today in Madrid.

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Gerard Pique (@bbctennis - Twitter)

Footballer Gerard Pique believes the Davis Cup is a long-term project that can work despite criticism over the re-formatted competition. 

 

Last August, the Barcelona defender had his re-formatted idea of the Davis Cup approve as part of big funding put in by his company Kosmos.

The competition, which starts today in Madrid, sees 18 teams compete in a one-week competition where they will fight for the Davis Cup title.

Despite Pique’s enthusiasm for the event, many fans and players have criticised the move explaining how the 118 year history of the competition has ended.

However for the Spaniard, he believes that he has convinced many doubters on this journey, “In terms of the event we needed to convince different people who were maybe sceptical and were against the idea of changing the format,” Pique admitted to Davis Cup.com.

“We’ve had to face it since the beginning. This is something I believe we did an amazing job at because we feel people in the game are now more convinced.

“The Davis Cup has a big meaning in the world of sport and tennis, there were some people against it, but right now I feel that Davis Cup is going to be stronger than it has been in the last 10 years.”

Despite the likes of Roger Federer and Daniil Medvedev missing from this week’s competition, there are eleven top 20 players competing including Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

Many critics are seeing this innovation as a short-term project but Pique hasn’t seen it that way and believes that in five years time people will be convinced about the event, “I like to think big and our idea since the beginning is to put this competition where it deserves to be, and maybe to create an event longer than one week,” the Spaniard said.

We understand we have to start little by little. I don’t want to compare ourselves to any other tournament because I think we are unique. In five years’ time I want everyone, players and fans, to think ‘Davis Cup is in November and I want to be there.'”

Even though there are doubters players such as Andy Murray have told people to give the event a chance despite the amount of tickets that are still available for the event.

The action begins today at 3pm GMT time with three ties:

Croatia v Russia

Italy v Canada

Belgium v Colombia

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Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut claim their first ATP Finals title in London

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The French team formed by Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut claimed their first men’s doubles title with a 6-3 6-4 win over Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus in 70 minutes at the ATP Finals at the O2 Arena in London ending the 2019 ATP season on a high note with back-to-back titles in Paris Bercy and London. They remained unbeaten during the whole week at the ATP Finals in London winning all five matches in straight sets.

 

Herbert and Mahut fended off all four break points they faced scoring their ninth consecutive match win. The French doubles specialists have become the first team to win the doubles ATP Finals title without dropping a set since Jean Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau in 2015.

Herbert and Mahut fended off break points in the third game of the match before earning the only break of the opening set in the next game. The Frenchmen saved a break point in the sixth game before breaking serve in the seventh game.

They have become the French team to win the ATP Finals doubles title since Michael Llodra and Fabrice Santoro, who triumphed in Shanghai in 2005.

Herbert and Mahut have won 15 doubles titles as a team during their career. This year they became the eighth men’s doubles team to complete the career Grand Slam at last January’s Australian Open and also won the Rolex Paris Masters in front of their home fans.

Last year they came within one point of winning the ATP Finals title against Mike Bryan and Jack Sock after holding a match point.

“Thank you Nicolas for sharing the court, for having so much enjoyable moments and giving me so much joy, when I am with you on the court. You played an unbelievable final, so thank you for that”, said Pierre Hugues Herbert.

 

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Jannik Sinner wins his third ATP Challenger in Ortisei

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Jannik Sinner won the ATP Challenger in Ortisei adding another title to his impressive collection of trophies he lifted during a memorable 2019 season.

 

The 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals champion beat world number 173 Sebastian Ofner from Austria 6-2 6-4 in 1 hour and 6 minutes in the final of the Sparkasse Challenger Val Gardena Sudtirol at the Tennis Center in Ortisei.

Sinner won his third ATP Challenger title in 2019 after his previous wins in Bergamo and Lexington. He also reached the final in Ostrava. During the tournament the 18-year-old player from San Candido beat Lucas Miedler in the first round, Roberto Marcora in the second round, Federico gaio in the quarter final and Antoine Hoang in the semifinal without dropping a set.

Sinner will improve his ranking to his career-high at world number 78 in the ATP Ranking becoming the sixth best ranked Italian player after Matteo Berrettini, Fabio Fognini, Lorenzo Sonego, Marco Cecchinato and Andreas Seppi.

Sinner broke serve in the fifth game of the opening set to take a 3-2 lead. Ofner missed two game points in the seventh game. The Austrian player faced another break point after his third double fault. In the next game Sinner saved the first break point he faced. Sinner closed out the first set 6-2 after two backhand errors from Ofner in the eighth game.

Sinner went up a break to open up a 2-0 lead, but Ofner broke back in the fourth game and held on his serve to take a 3-2 lead. Ofner saved three break points in the seventh game to take a 4-3. Sinner converted his fourth break point in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead and served out the win with two consecutive aces.

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