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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Nick Bollettieri represents as remarkable a success story as any of his pupils. He barely even hit a tennis ball until his final year of high school, and only found his first coaching job aged 25, with the help of the Florida mafia. Andre Agassi, his best-known protégé, once described him as “a hustler [who] doesn’t love the game or even know it all that well”.

Yet Bollettieri persevered until he had become one of the biggest names in the sport, more prominent within tennis circles than most grand slam winners. In July, his eminence will be recognised when he joins the 1999 Wimbledon champion Lindsay Davenport and the former BBC tennis correspondent John Barrett in an induction ceremony at the Hall of Fame.

"It was an accident," says Bollettieri, in his distinctive sandpapery whisper, when asked how he fell into tennis in the first place. I was a paratrooper and when I got out of the service my dad wanted me to be a lawyer. I liked surfing so I moved to Miami.

"There were these two tennis courts across from the city administration building, and I had to make a little money. I didn’t know my ass from my elbow, but I began teaching at three dollars an hour. After five months I dropped out of law school and I said: ‘I’m gonna stick with tennis’."

Bollettieri had originally wanted to be a fighter pilot. But after failing the written test, he found enough fame – some would say notoriety – in tennis to finance a succession of marriages and fancy cars.

When anyone asks him "Have you really had eight wives?" he replies. "Why, are you looking to become the ninth?" In Changing The Game – note the audacity of the title – he claims credit for numerous tennis innovations. (Changing The Game, Bollettieri’s autobiography, which came out earlier this month)

In technical terms, the two most influential must be the drive volley (known as the swing volley by Americans) and the reverse forehand (so called because the racket brushes up the back of the ball, generating extra topspin, before moving backwards in a lasso-style whip over the head).

Throw in the Bollettieri Academy itself in Bradenton, a tennis boot-camp that Agassi described as "Karate Kid with rackets, Lord of the Flies with forehands”, and you can see why Bollettieri has a claim to being the father figure of the modern game.

His methods could be ruthless. As if dunking a load of Siamese fighting fish into one small tank, he would send a group of feisty teenagers out to the back of his 12-acre lot. Those who prospered would work their way up to the "supreme court" where the motormouthed, permatanned, ever-shirtless Bollettieri led the sessions himself.

No fewer than 10 world No 1s have come through Bradenton. But it only took one to make the place famous. As a rebellious teenager, Agassi grew his hair long, wore make-up and painted his fingernails pink. It is hard to imagine anyone more likely to antagonise the military-minded Bollettieri.

"Andre wore rouge and fingernail polish," Bollettieri says now. "He was totally different. You never knew what to expect. Jim Courier [Agassi’s teenage rival and contemporary] said I should have thrown him out a hundred times. But I saw something in him that was unusual. You could never yell at him on the court either, he was very sensitive. Courier I could beat the ---- out of.

Winning Wimbledon with Andre is my greatest memory in tennis. He called me about four days before the tournament and said: ‘Let’s go to Boca Raton to practise’. He had a girlfriend there, Wendi. We played golf, hit with [Robert] Seguso for 30 minutes.

"Then we got to England and he gave a clinic. They said ‘Andre, where you been?’ He said ‘I been practising for two weeks.’ We hadn’t hit one ball on grass, but he went on to win the title. "He had the ladies from England trying to buy those short shorts for Chrissakes. He turned the crowd on, he really did. He had a way, man. He had ‘em jumping, man. When he retired at the US Open, the concession stands stopped to hear his speech. Everybody stopped. Not many people can do that."

Agassi and Bollettieri’s professional relationship ended unhappily, a few weeks after their Wimbledon win, and the estrangement presumably fuelled those vindictive comments in Agassi’s 2009 autobiography Open.

The most successful grunters in women’s tennis – Williams, Sharapova, Monica Seles – have all worked with Bollettieri, and so did the loudest of them all, Michelle Larcher de Brito of Portugal. In his book, he writes: "I never taught it but I defended it because a number of my champions have made it part of their arsenal of weapons."
"It started with Monica Seles," Bollettieri says now. “She was so thin, so small, she looked like she would fall down when she hit the ball. She thought that if she was going to hit the ---- out of it, she had to make a noise.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/10771438/Nick-Bollettieri-calls-himself-a-maverick-and-a-cowboy-but-is-still-holding-court-after-all-these-years.html

Andre Agassi: "Most of all, you provided an umbrella of protection as I fell under the glare of the international spotlight. There were days that I fell it was you and me against the world. I'll never forget that."

 

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this man helped destroy tennis

Groove + Nick = ATP top 50 though for sure
 

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...and he still doesn't.

Nick Bollettieri's "coaching genius" is like me saying to Nadal "go win a clay tournament".
 

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Pretty much what my old coach told me about Nick, the part about not knowing his ass from his elbow about tennis.

My old coach told me a story one time about Nick trying to show off at his academy like 20 years ago when Dumitru worked at IMG. There was a large number of Asian family members thinking to send their kids to the academy. Nick asked one of his coaches how to do a particular stroke, a forehand, and Nick rambles onto the court with great fanfare and shows the pupil how to do the FH that he himself just learned.

With great bombast, he executed it successfully, and got like all of those Asian parents to get their kids enrolled in the academy :lol:

He may not know shit about the game and admits it himself, but he is a great businessman, we can all agree on that.

As for his book, I may check it out.
 

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at that time 3$ per hour was like 100$ today.
 

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26 per hour in 1956 is like 1,000$ today
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So you're telling me there's hope yet for Johnny Groove...
Well...

What can you tell me about Singapore? If I increase my level a lot by the next 2 months or so, I could get a coaching job over there. Maybe.
It's hot and humid. Can you deal with that?
Sounds like Florida :shrug:

But I won't be able to get the job, I am not good enough and also not enough experience :eek: Maybe I ought to try to make it work in USA first. Couple more good wins, some more ranking, maybe a position in Bradenton? That'd be the shit.
You shouldn't be allowed to be anywhere near a coaching position before you can bagel Leng Jai consistently. Even in your sleep.
He can't even deal with throwing a ball up in the air in a straight line.
 
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