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Business Observer Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 10 months ago

Area tennis icon lists waterfront house for sale for $2.2 million

‘I’ve never used the word retirement,’ Nick Bollettieri says.

BRADENTON — Even area tennis coach and global tennis icon Nick Bollettieri can’t escape the wreath of the pandemic.

The founder of the famed IMG Academy in Bradenton, Bollettieri, who will turn 90 in July, has listed the 4,500-square-foot house he owns in Bradenton for sale. While he loves the 12-year-old home that overlooks Palma Sola Bay, Bollettieri says his main way to make money — giving speeches and tennis clinics worldwide — has been cancelled due to the pandemic. “The upkeep costs too much,” he says. “That’s the way it is now. I’m sure other people have it worse. You have to make due with what’s in front of you.”

Bollettieri and his wife Cindi bought the four-bedroom, four-bathroom house in 2013 for $1.27 million, Manatee County property records show. The asking price for the house, listed by Michael Saunders & Co. agent Adam Cuffaro, is $2.2 million. Features of the house, says Cuffaro include multiple levels of living space with fine architectural details such as high ceilings, wood flooring and French doors. There’s also a three-car garage and space for storage, home gym and game room, in addition to a large home office. There’s a fully enclosed pool area with spa and swim-up bar seating and a composite dock with two Jet Ski lifts. Cuffaro, in an interview, says the home’s views, privacy, space and finishes, all high-end, make it a “grand slam."

Nick Bollettieri and his wife Cindi bought the four-bedroom, four-bathroom house in 2013 for $1.27 million.

Bollettieri, credited with creating the idea of a boarding school for budding tennis stars, moved to Longboat Key in 1977, when he was named an instructor at the Colony Beach and Tennis Resort. The next year he founded the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton, which is now IMG and one of the most famous athletic-boarding schools in the world. Bollettieri, who remains involved with IMG, has coached and worked with a litany of tennis stars, including Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Monica Seles, Boris Becker and Maria Sharapova.  

In addition to speeches prior to the pandemic, Bollettieri says he’s spending time on a tennis/education program in inner cities, including Bradenton sand Miami. “That’s my main thrust in life right now,” he says. “I’ve never used the word retirement. Anyone who uses the words retirement, they’re finished in life.”


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