Tennis Coach Nick Bollettieri gives instructions to a young Anna Kournikova of Russia during a training session at his tennis academy in Bradenton, Fla., in 1990. Kournikova went on to become a highly ranked international player, but she ended her career at age 21 because of injuries.
Tennis coach Nick Bollettieri's deserved acceptance into the International Tennis Hall of Fame came late in life, at age 82. What makes him so important is not his long career but how he changed the way we bring up our athletic children.
The ultimate young athlete used to be the boy (girls didn't have the chance then) who starred in several sports. The all-around athlete. But Bollettieri changed that.
Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 7:44 pm
By Steve Mullis
Serena Williams holds up the championship trophy after defeating Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, during the women's singles final of the 2013 U.S. Open tennis tournament on Sunday in New York.
Credit David Goldman / AP
Top-seeded Serena Williams overcame the wind and more than a dozen unforced errors Sunday to defeat No. 2 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, in the U.S. Open women's singles championship match 7-5, 6-7(6), 6-1.
Venus Williams waves to tennis fans as she leaves the court after a three-hour loss to Zheng Jie of China in the U.S. Open's second round.
Credit Don Emmert / AFP/Getty Images
For Venus Williams, a three-hour tennis match came down to a third-set tiebreaker against Zheng Jie of China at the U.S. Open Wednesday night. But the world's former No. 1 player couldn't get past 44 unforced errors, and Zheng outlasted her in a rain-delayed match. Williams lost 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (5).
In the match's final two points, Williams misfired on successive shots after coming back to even the tiebreaker at 5-5, sending Zheng into the third round. Williams is currently ranked 60th in the world.
Venus Williams hits a forehand during her first-round win over Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium Monday.
Credit Matthew Stockman / Getty Images
Serena Williams dispatched Francesca Schiavone, 6-0, 6-1, in the first round of the U.S. Open Monday night, in a game played under the lights at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York.
With the win, Serena Williams, 31, joined her older sister Venus in the second round — only the second time this year that both players have advanced past the opening round of a Grand Slam event. That last happened in the Australian Open, seven months ago.
The ugliest, most ill-conceived physical addition to sports scenery was the construction, a few years ago, of the Arthur Ashe tennis stadium at the U.S. Open. Typical U.S. supersize. We'll be bigger than everyone else, so there.
Alas, in the upper reaches of this charmless behemoth you need a GPS to find the players somewhere down there at sea level. Worse, should it rain, which it has a wont to do in New York, there are no players on the court and you get wet.