The always-engaging Nick Bollettieri didn’t disappoint on Saturday.
The recent Tennis Hall-of-Fame inductee addressed about 150 fans at the Strand in Naples.
“He was great, very entertaining,” said the club’s head pro Dave DeKeersmaker. “Our members said it was the best thing we ever held here.”
The legendary coach of 10 No. 1 players, including Monica Seles, Jim Courier, Andre Agassi, the Williams sisters and Maria Sharapova, spent a few hour talking about the players he coached and his newly released book. He held a demo with one of his junior players and a couple of his coaches.
“He also had the crowd participate,” said DeKeersmaker, who first met Bollettieri five years ago during a speaking engagement at Miromar. “”He pulled people out from the audience and worked and joked with them.”
He also spent substantial time signing his latest book “Bollettieri: Changing the Game,” which came out Wednesday.
“He personally inscribed everyone’s book,” said DeKeersmaker. “He asked everyone something as he signed too.”
For those who missed Saturday’s event, fear not.
“We will be playing golf in the next month or two,” said DeKeersmaker. “I’ll try to set something up. I plan on doing this again.”
A few familiar names helped the West Division claim the Florida Cup at the Sarasota Bath & Racquet Club recently.
Steve Shortridge beat Roscoe Tanner in the 60s division. Larry Turville and Fred Drilling won two singles and one doubles match each in the 65s and 70s divisions, respectively, as the West beat the East 36-14. The West leads the event, featuring men’s 35-80 age divisions, overall with a 9-2 record.