Jacksonville Sports Day

TENNIS: Bollettieri Rushed to Hospital after Collapsing During Tennis Lesson

On Wednesday, Nick Bollettieri, one of tennis’s pioneers, was rushed to the hospital after collapsing during a tennis lesson.

Former world No. 5 Jimmy Arias, who was coached by Bollettieri when he was 13 years old and works closely with him at the IMG Academy, shared the alarming news during Thursday’s edition of Tennis Channel Live.

“On the court, 88 years old, teaching as he does every single day still, collapsed,” said Arias. “He had to go to the hospital.”

The founder of the IMG Academy has groomed many major champions such as Andre Agassi, Monica Seles and Jim Courier. Bollettieri still spends most of his time training players, and plays a pivotal role in the development of the tennis academy.

“He called me, I talked to him last night and he was in pretty good spirits, except he’s a guy that’s never gone to the doctor,” Arias said. “He refuses to go to the doctor, he’s scared of needles. He goes, ‘Jimmy they stuck me 18 times.’ He is now feeling better.”

Bollettieri seemed to have an infection that has affected his kidneys. He remains in the hospital and is set to be released on Friday.

Although hit with concerning news, Arias believes his mentor will be fine, and he even shared a throwback of the two on the court from his professional tennis days.

“Look this was a couple of weeks ago, I’m on the court with Nick. Maybe quite a number of weeks ago, I’m not exactly sure the timeframe,” Arias said laughingly as a vintage, shirtless picture of the two appeared. “Don’t look at the wood racquet and the short shorts.”

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