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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Stefanos Tsitsipas downs Sinner; now aims for Third Title in Monte Carlo

Stylish Greek completes comeback win and re-enters the top ten.

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After winning two in a row in 2021-2022, Stefanos Tsitsipas is now in reach of a third title at the prestigious Monte Carlo Rolex Masters, after beating World number two Jannik Sinner in three gruelling sets.

The 25-year-old had to battle hard and come from a break down in the third to win 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 and now plays Casper Ruud in tomorrow’s final. The Greek has had an indifferent start to the year with a 11-6 win-loss record, but today was his first top three victory since the 2022 Cincinatti Masters – where he beat Daniil Medvedev – and ensures a return back into the top ten of the men’s rankings.

Tsitsipas recognised how hard he had to fight and revealed after the match just how satisfied he was of his performance:

“It was tennis at its highest level that I have been able to play. Jannik was an extremely difficult opponent and it can be seen throughout the year so far. He has been very consistent and I could see that throughout today with his game. He is one of the toughest opponents I have faced so far and to find ways when there weren’t that many, I am proud of that. He gave me a very difficult game and the way I overcame it is true excellence.”

Sinner double faulted at 30-40 to gift the break early with the score at one game all. From there, Tsistipas rallied with poise and confidence in a brilliant opening set lasting 44 minutes including a stunning backhand down-the-line winner to open the game when serving at 4-3. He took the first set 6-4 after a tiring 18-shot rally – where both players hit all angles of the court – before Sinner hit a forehand wide.

However, 22-year-old Sinner struck back immediately on his first breakpoint at the start of the second set when he won a close exchange at the net and then took a 3-0 lead.  He later survived a breakback point when 4-2 up and crucially held on for 5-2. He faced more pressure when serving for the set at 5-3 and was taken to deuce but levelled the match at one-set-all on his second set point to give the crowd exactly what they were asking f

Sinner was now in full flow hitting powerfully from the baseline and once again broke early at the start of the final set to take a 3-1 lead. But with the match now entering the third hour he began to tire physically and called for the trainer during the changeover with the score at 4-3.  When the match resumed, he lost the next three games and the Greek had completed a remarkable turnaround, handing his opponent just his second defeat of the season in two hours and forty minutes.

“It helps a lot knowing I have a win like this under my belt. Having a win like this and getting to the levels of tennis again brings a lot of satisfaction to me,” Tsitsipas said. “When there is a lot of work put in each day, these are the type of matches you are aiming for.”

Sinner’s only loss prior to today was against Carlos Alcaraz in Indian Wells semi-finals. He has been the stand out player this year after already winning titles in Rotterdam, the Miami Open, and his maiden Grand Slam in Australia. Despite having won 25 matches overall though, he now trails Tsitsipas 3-6 in their head-to-head rivalry.

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Casper Ruud Reveals Shock After Knocking Out Novak Djokovic In Monte-Carlo

Casper Ruud is into his second career Masters 1000 final after beating Novak Djokovic for the first time.

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Casper Ruud is into his second Masters 1000 final of his career after recording his best ever win by beating Novak Djokovic 6-4 1-6 6-4.

The Norwegian defeated the world number one for the first time in his career as he overcame a mini-comeback from Djokovic to seal his place in the Monte-Carlo final.

Having lost his five previous meetings to Djokovic, Ruud played some fearless tennis under pressure as the eighth seed broke to close out a career-best win.

Speaking after the win Ruud admitted he was in a state of shock and was pleased with the victory, “I am super happy,” Ruud told the ATP website.

“This is a day I will remember for a long time. Beating a World No. 1 is something I have never done and beating Novak is something I have never done. I am very, very happy. I am a little bit in a state of shock right now.”

After achieving the seemingly improbable, Ruud will now look to win his first ever ATP title that’s above a Masters 1000 event when he takes on Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Monte-Carlo final.

That’s a prospect Ruud is looking forward to as he prepares for one final challenge, “There is always one more match in tennis,” the Norwegian explained.

“Tomorrow is going to be a special day, playing a final here in Monte-Carlo. It is a great result but I have been chasing a big title for a few years now and tomorrow I will have another shot at it. I am going to give it my all. Stef is playing well. He is a great player on clay and on other surfaces as well, but I guess clay is maybe where he has had the most success and especially this tournament.

“So it is going to be another tough task, but I am up for it.”

The final will take place at 14:00 BST.

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Rafael Nadal Set For Opening Round Test Against Cobolli In Barcelona

Rafael Nadal will look to make his ATP tour return in Barcelona this week.

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Rafael Nadal is set for his return to tennis in Barcelona as he has been drawn against Flavio Cobolli in the opening round.

Nadal has been struggling with injury after being injured again in Brisbane this year.

The tournament in Brisbane was his first tournament back for a year as he suffered a hip injury at the Australian Open last year.

Now Nadal aims to return to competitive action in Barcelona as he has been drawn against Flavio Cobolli in the opening round.

Speaking earlier in the week Nadal was hopeful of a return to the tour in Barcelona, “Excited to be here for a few days before the start of the tournament,” Nadal told the ATP website.

“I’m here to see how it goes… can’t wait to try and play. I’ll let you know. Important to say that I don’t want to confirm I’ll be playing, but I hope so. We’ll see.”

Should Nadal play and win his opening round match then the Spaniard will play fourth seed Alex De Minaur in the second round.

The former world number one has won the title on 12 different occasions but hasn’t won the title since 2021.

Elsewhere in the draw defending champion Carlos Alcaraz will begin against Luca Van Assche or Zhizhen Zhang with the Spaniard projected to meet Borna Coric in the third round.

Alcaraz suffered an injury in Monte-Carlo and will be beginning his clay court campaign in Barcelona.

Also in action in Barcelona are Andrey Rublev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Casper Ruud.

Main draw action will begin on Monday.

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