Nick Bollettieri Calls “Marcelo Rios: The Man We Barely Knew” “Magnificent”

Two friends of mine Chrisian Koskorelos and Kevin went to the USTA National Tennis Center today. Just to play some tennis on the courts and check out the scene. Who did they run into but Nick Bollettieri who was also there on business. They had lunch with Nick and Christian mentioned that he knows me and the book I wrote “Marcelo Rios: The Man We Barely Knew.”

Of course, Nick knows about the book because I interviewed him about it last year in Bradenton and gave him a copy at the Sony Ericsson earlier this year. Nick was extremely helpful during the creation process and shared a chapter’s worth of excellent insights and anecdotes. So today, Nick gave his number to them and asked that I call him to discuss the book.

I got the message from Christian’s mom when I stopped by the Route 4 courts in Englewood, on my way back from New York City. So I called Nick and here’s some of what he said:

“Excellent job on the book. You did it in a very interesting way. The book is magnificent. I’m going to tell a lot of people that they should read it.”

Talk about a thrilling moment. It’s a double honor to hear such compliments about your hard work and also to give such reading pleasure to a tennis legend like Nick Bollettieri, who was friendly with Rios.

In the meantime, I’ll be back from Cloud Nine by tomorrow or Saturday morning. LOL. Where’s the wine, it’s time to celebrate.

By the way, you can still get the book at amazon.com for just $12.99.


  • Steve · July 27, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Congrats Scoop. That’s excellent.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 27, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Thanks Steve, so happy to hear when people love the book.

  • TC · July 27, 2012 at 1:41 pm


    I just finished the book myself, couldn’t put it down. Nice tho have the head-to-head stats and results archive. He really had some trouble against Berasategui and Zabaleta randomly.

    Rios seems to have really mellowed these days, smiling a lot and dropping in on the Champions Tour once in a while. He’s still got it on all accounts.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 27, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Thanks so much Thomas! So glad that you enjoyed it. Berasategui was a helluva player and gave Rios big trouble and several marathon battles. Weirdest forehand I ever saw too. Yes, by all accounts Rios is a more mature, mellower person today. The life of a pro tennis player can be pretty stressful especially for a shy guy like Rios who is so popular and famous in his country. Like Mike Nakajima said, Rios is happy with his career, he did it his way. Thanks again Thomas.

  • Dan Markowitz · July 27, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    Congrats, Scoop. But I don’t know why you’d be surprised that Bollettieri read your book–and liked it. What do you think Bolly reads about? The History of the Civil War? Rios was at his Academy, right? I would think he’d be interested.

    And was Rios a shy guy? No one got close enough to him to tell? He was a surly guy, that’s for sure, self-absorbed, but shy?

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 28, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Thanks Dan. More than a few tennis insiders and people who knew him said Rios was “shy” and was not comfortable speaking his second language to strangers and media. Rios was most definitely a shy kid when he first came onto the Tour.

  • Andrew Miller · July 28, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Seems NMassu and FGonzalez get the short shrift in the Rios discussion. Maybe they shouldnt.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 29, 2012 at 12:01 am

    Andrew their OLY medal achievement are just not appreciated as much as they should be.

  • Gans · July 30, 2012 at 1:06 am

    Congratulations, Scoop.

    Haven’t read, but it’s in my list.

  • Mark Sanders · July 30, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    A good read- lots of interesting anecdotes

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 31, 2012 at 1:12 am

    Thanks Mark! I’ve gotten even more since the book was published! Will tell you them next time I see you,

  • Michael · August 2, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    For those of us not as schooled in the history of the sport, could you remind us again who Rios is ? I looked at a list of Major tournament winners from the past 20 years and didn’t see the name. Does he go back to Tilden’s era ?

    Or is it the tour through the eyes of a journeyman type of book and Rios is merely a vehicle ?


  • Scoop Malinowski · August 3, 2012 at 2:32 am

    Not quite smart aleck ) Rios is one of the greatest talents in the history of the game. Safin said Rios had the talent to win ten majors. Bollettieri said he was one of the biggest talents he ever worked with, the biggest disappointment of his career. Even Mike Agassi, father of Andre, said Rios was in some ways better than Andre. Rios is also one of Federer’s favorite players, he said this many times. Luke Jensen said Rios played a different kind of game, he was ahead of his time, his time hasn’t even come yet. Rios fell short in winning majors but he was top dog for six weeks in the tough Agassi/Sampras era of the late 90s. Thomas Johansson said Rios was so good, you could play a great match and lose to him 1 and 1, he could make you feel like a beginner.



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