ITFWorld Winter 2022/23

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HEADER ITF World Winter 2023 39 Following time in the army, Bollettieri coached tennis on the side while at law school in Miami, and took on a teaching position at a tennis resort in Florida in 1976. He opened the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy a year later. In 1980 he built a live-in tennis academy in Bradenton, Florida and attracted a host of talented junior players and media attention, with both groups attracted by the ex-army lieutenant who could create tennis champions. OBITUARY NICK BOLLETTIERI The ITF was saddened to learn of the death of legendary tennis coach Nick Bollettieri, who passed away in December aged 91. Bollettieri shaped the early careers of some of the biggest names in the sport. He worked with 10 players who would become world No. 1s: Andre Agassi, Boris Becker, Jim Courier, Martina Hingis, Jelena Jankovic, Marcelo Rios, Monica Seles, Maria Sharapova, and Serena and Venus Williams. His impact was widespread. Jimmy Arias, Carling Bassett, Thomas Enqvist, Brad Gilbert, Brian Gottfried, Anna Kournikova, Mary Pierce, Mark Phillippousis, Nicole Vaidisova and Tommy Haas all also worked with Bollettieiri and went on to achieve Top 10 status. Perhaps surprisingly, Bollettieri was never an elite tennis player. He played American football at high school, was a former paratrooper in the military, and briefly attended law school, but the peak of his on-court efforts was playing a single season of college tennis in Alabama. Italy overcame hosts and defending champions Brazil to win the Beach Tennis World Cup in November, claiming the prestigious title for the fifth time. Against the backdrop of Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana Beach, the final went to the wire, with Italy's mixed doubles pairing of Michele Cappelletti and Sofia Cimatti needing several international junior events and is fourth in the world for number of coaches registered on the ITF Academy. The Federation annually hosts South America's only WTA tournament, the Copa Colsanitas, at its National Tennis Centre in Bogota. In 2020, the facility was awarded ITF Silver Level status. The Federation has also consistently developed top professional players in both the men's and women's game, including Grand Slam doubles champions Juan Cabal and Robert Farah, and Camila Osorio. Italy reign at Beach Tennis World Cup to defeat Andre Baran and Rafaella Miiller 6-3 3-6 10-4 to clinch victory in beach tennis's flagship national team competition. The Italians also won the junior title, defeating Venezuela in the final. Venezuela were placed third in the main event, helped to their best-ever World Cup finish by the support of the South American crowd. C L I C K H E R E TO R E A D M O R E ITF World Winter 2022/23 39 Paraguay's up-and- coming Daniel Vallejo Bolle eri at the 2013 ITF World Coaches Conference Bollettieri sold his academy to IMG in 1987 (it has since expanded to a 400-acre complex and branched out to include eight different sports) but continued to play a key role in the development of the facility. The academy has continued to produce top players. He took part in the ITF World Coaches Conference in 2013, sharing his expertise with leading tennis coaches from around the world, and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2014.

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