Legendary coach Nick Bollettieri passes away

Legendary coach Nick Bollettieri, who worked with the likes of Andre Agassi and Maria Sharapova, passes away at the age of 91

Legendary coach Nick Bollettieri (right) passed away at the age of 91

Legendary coach Nick Bollettieri, who helped develop superstars such as Andre Agassi and Maria Sharapova, has passed away aged 91.

“Nick Bollettieri, the legendary tennis coach and founder of Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, which served as the foundation for today’s IMG Academy, has passed away,” the IMG Academy said in a statement on Monday.

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While his methods were sometimes controversial, his academy in Florida churned out top players and he was to coach 10 players who would go on to become number one in the world.

Monica Seles, Jim Courier, Anna Kournikova and Mary Pierce were other stars who passed through his Bradenton complex.

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Bollettieri also advised Venus and Serena Williams and Boris Becker.

Bollettieri founded the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy -– now IMG Academy –- in 1978 with a focus on intense physical training, total immersion, and ongoing competition among the most talented players in the world.

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His enthusiasm for coaching continued almost right up to the end.

Tommy Haas — a four-time Grand Slam semi-finalist and world number two — posted a moving tribute to the Korean War veteran.

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“So many memories, I am not sure where to begin,” posted the 44-year-old on Instagram.

“Nickiiii, that’s how i have called you for the longest time.

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“Thank you for your time, knowledge, commitment, expertise, the willingness to share your skill, your personal interest in mentoring me, and giving me the best opportunity to follow my dreams.

“You were a dreamer and a doer, and a pioneer in our sport, truly one of a kind.”