Tennis Prose



Should I Do A Bollettieri Academy Book?

By Scoop Malinowski

I have considered it for years because so many various people associated with Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy have told me so many stories which I find fascinating and colorful. The “Love Means Zero” doumentary film was very good but it didn’t capture the essence of this historic landmark world renowned chunk of Florida acreage that has changed the sport as we knew it

Just a sample tip of the iceberg of some of the bullet points stories and anecdotes I’ve been told about…

Marcelo Rios pushed up against a wall for insulting Gabriel Trifu who warned him he was going to beat him up if he disprespected him again.

Orlando Merced of the Pittsburgh Pirates jumping a fence and running on court to beat up Rios after Rios insulted him. Coaches managed to break up the altercation.

Bollettieri nearly choking 12 year old Jimmy Arias almost to death for being a wise ass.

Bollettieri taking the construction crew to his office and smashing it with an axe, then ordering them to start the renovation now. He was upset they were behind schedule and wanted his new office pronto.

Agassi smashing all his racquets after losing a practice set to Reno Manne when he was no 1 in the world and then going to one of the Mitsubishi vans and simultaneously pounding the steering wheel and pounding the brakes in the parking lot.

Nishikori seeing a junior girl crying sitting on the curb after losing a tournament match and then sitting down to talk to her and try to lift her spirits.

Red Ayme telling me some of the money set bets between Arias, Rios, Haas were competed with more intensity than actual ATP tournaments because the players didn’t want to lose their own money.

Courier saying he got caught in a water gun fight at night and was forced to pick weeds early morning for the next week as punishment.

Seles playing vs two male players for two hours straight, not keeping score, just playing every point like it was the same. Full intensity.

Stories of Borg training there for his comeback from his hitting partner Reno Manne. 

The inside story about why the top boy and girl juniors at the academy were suddenly expelled from the academy the day of their rule violation in the 1980s. One went on to become a top ten ATP player, the other did not make it as a pro.

The story about the Saudi Sheik who showed up at the academy with three planes of Filippino assistants and then trained and lodged at the academy for three months without paying!

Bollettier saying the daughter of Marcelo Rios, Constanza, also a lefty, “she’s excellent…no, no she’s better than excellent.” She stopped playing tennis a couple of years later.

Chip Brooks telling me the story of the young Maria Sharapova, how “she always wanted it more than her father…”

The story about Maria doing boxing training at age 12 at the Sarasota Boxing Club, straight from the boxing coach.

Could these stories and many more be compiled and woven into an interesting book?

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  • Doug Day · March 2, 2022 at 6:04 pm

    I couldnt stop reading. Its leader as big as they come and his place the common thread for tales high and low (or lowering the bar for them on high)

  • Scoop Malinowski · March 2, 2022 at 6:40 pm

    Doug, it has to be done and I’m the guy to do it. Just collect and compile and let the stories and anecdotes tell the story. I think my style of composition is perfect for this project.

  • Erymn · March 4, 2022 at 4:19 am

    Maybe one day I will write a book based on this perfect writing. Great job really.



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