Sports

Legendary coach Nick Bollettieri denies reports of own death

Legendary tennis coach Nick Bollettieri, who worked with players such as Jim Courier, Andre Agassi, Mark Phillippoussis and Monica Seles, has been forced to deny reports of his own death.

The 91-year-old has been in poor health in recent years, with his daughter posting a picture on social media on Sunday showing a frail Bollettieri, with the statement that “Dad is close to transitioning to the next place.”

“Please keep him in your thoughts for a peaceful departure and wonderful journey,” she added.

READ MORE: Qatar creates unwanted 92-year World Cup first

READ MORE: Hamilton sinks to dire 15-year Formula 1 low

READ MORE: Djokovic pockets largest payday in tennis history

“We love you Daddy.”

Somehow word spread on social media that the Hall of Fame member had died, with 2006 Australian Open semi finalist Nicolas Kiefer one of many to share their condolances.

“RIP Nick Bollettieri,” Kiefer wrote, while other outlets published obituaries.

But in a statement on his official Instagram account, the former coach confirmed that reports of his death had been greatly exaggerated. 

“I would like to assure everyone that contrary to what you may have heard, I am still alive and kicking,” he wrote.

“Not much can keep this old Italian dog down for long. I have my family here and lots of visitors, which makes me very happy!

“I love all the messages you send, the phone calls, and the voicemails you leave. I always say, ‘It ain’t easy’ but it sure is worth it.

“I am one lucky guy. I wish you all the very best. Nick.”

Bollettieri established his eponymous tennis academy in 1978, with Courier, Agassi and Seles amongst his most decorated pupils.

Phillippousis, Serena and Venus Williams, Mary Pierce and Anna Kournikova also trained under Bollettieri.

“Lots of tweets and tennis websites saying legendary coach Nick Bollettieri died today after a photo of him looking poorly,” journalist Nick Harris tweeted.

“Worked with Nick for years & his wife Cindi told me this afternoon: “Nick’s still alive & kicking, not ready to call it quits yet’.”

Tennis Channel’s Brett Haber added: “Just texted with @NickBollettieri, who said, among other things, ‘It’s been a wild ride, but I’m not ready to quit just yet.’ Prayers up for one of the most influential and inspirational people tennis has ever known.”

For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!

Via Source link

Most Popular

To Top