Tennis coaching legend Nick Bollettieri was the fifth person to be inducted into the Tennis Industry Hall of Fame, in a ceremony that took place recently in New York City, just before the start of the US Open tennis tournament. Bollettieri, one of the world’s most famous coaches, was honored for his significant impact on tennis.
A coach, businessman, motivator and educator, Bollettieri has worked with players of all age ranges and skill levels, coaching 10 world No. 1 players—Andre Agassi, Boris Becker, Jim Courier, Martina Hingis, Jelena Jankovic, Marcelo Rios, Monica Seles, Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams and Venus Williams.
Bollettieri started the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in 1978, and in the process, he developed a style and method of coaching and training that has revolutionized tennis instruction. The Bradenton, Fla., academy was the first major tennis boarding school, and it changed the way tennis was taught at the elite junior level.
“I am thrilled to be honored by the tennis industry,” Bollettieri told nearly 300 people who attended the Tennis Forum sponsored by the Tennis Industry Association at the Grand Hyatt New York on Aug. 24.
“I’ve dedicated my life to helping players of all ages and abilities enjoy the sport of tennis. It’s quite an honor to be recognized by this industry.” He also reiterated his support for the key 10 and Under Tennis initiative as the best way to develop tennis among youngsters.
Bollettieri was introduced by one of his former students, Brad Gilbert, who played on the pro tour and now is a television tennis commentator. The tennis industry leaders, teaching pros, manufacturers, and retailers at the TIA Tennis Forum gave Bollettieri a prolonged standing ovation.
The 4th Annual Tennis Industry Hall of Fame induction ceremony was held during the TIA Tennis Forum, which was part of The Tennis Show held on the Friday before the US Open begins. It was the first industry-sponsored tennis show since 2000, and plans are in the works to continue, and expand, The Tennis Show for 2013.
Bollettieri joins previous Tennis Industry Hall of Fame inductees Howard Head (2008), Dennis Van der Meer (2008), Alan Schwartz (2009), and Billie Jean King (2010). Plaques of Tennis Industry Hall of Fame inductees are on permanent display at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I.