Nick Bollettieri health update amid reassurance he is ‘alive and kicking’

Bruno Cooke November 22, 2022
Nick Bollettieri health update amid reassurance he is ‘alive and kicking’
Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images


Tennis coach Nick Bollettieri reportedly took to social media to deny reports of his own death this week, prompting genuine curiosity about his overall health.

Born in 1931, he turned 91 this year. During the course of his professional life, Bollettieri worked with the Williams sisters, Maria Sharapova, Andre Agassi and Sara Errani, as well as numerous others.

But, he doesn’t appear to have worked with Tin Henman.

As you’d expect for anyone in their nineties, Nick Bollettieri’s health has had its ups and downs. But for now it seems, he’s still got that fighting spirit. 

Photo by Lutz Bongarts/Bongarts/Getty Images

Nick Bollettieri had ‘some health issues’

In August 2022, Tennis Prose staff posted a health update regarding Bollettieri. 

He was having “some health issues,” it reads. He was, at the time, receiving hospice care and “likely” to remain bedridden.

The family welcomed “anyone who comes by,” the site added, which Bollettieri echoed later in social media posts of his own.

As of August 2022, he was in “regular contact” with “the usual suspects”: Anne White, Andre Agassi, Dick Vitale, Robert Seguso and Carling Bassett-Seguso, Brian Gottfried, Jimmy Arias, and so on.

In November 2022, the tennis coach debunked rumors that claimed he had passed away, saying he’s ‘still alive and kicking.’

But he wasn’t able to speak at the Salvation Army gala in October

Bollettieri was supposed to be the keynote speaker at the annual Salvation Army gala on October 1 at IMG, Tennis Prose adds. 

But he was unable to attend, and appearing by video link was deemed unfeasible.

Nevertheless, the outlet stressed that Nick is “very sharp and has all his wits about him, and brags about his perfect eyesight and hearing! He is in very good spirits.”

In response to recent false claims that he had died, Bollettieri assured his fans and followers that he is in relatively good health.

“I would like to assure everyone that contrary to what you may have heard, I am still alive and kicking,” he wrote on social media, quoted by Wide World of Sports.

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What happened to Nick Bollettieri in May 2020? Health took a turn for the worse

In mid-May 2020, medics rushed Nick Bollettieri to hospital after he collapsed during a tennis lesson.

The website reported at the time that former world number five Jimmy Arias had shared the news during an edition of Tennis Channel Live.

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

”He called me,” he added. “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. He refuses to go to the doctor, he’s scared of needles. He goes, ‘Jimmy they stuck me 18 times.’”

Bollettieri was back home a couple of days later. It was the first time he’d been to the doctor in 14 years, per the Herald-Tribune. “That was my mistake,” he reportedly said.

Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images

91-year-old tennis coach says he’s ‘one lucky guy’

Nick Bollettieri has been in poor health in recent years. And on Sunday, his daughter posted a picture to social media saying he was “close to transitioning.”

This transmogrified in the way that things, unfortunately, do on the Internet. Soon enough, people were reporting that he had died. But Bollettieri reassured fans that he is “alive and kicking.”

“Not much can keep this old Italian dog down for long,” he wrote on Instagram, per Wide World of Sports. “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.”

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Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or