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Nick’s Notes: What Bollettieri learned from coaching Monica Seles
In the fourth of a five-part series, gain insight into what the late tennis coach learned from working with some of the sport’s greatest champions.
Published Dec 22, 2022
WATCH: Remember the life and legacy of Nick Bollettieri, one of the sport's greatest coaches and pioneer of tennis academies, after opening Bollettieri Tennis Academy in 1978.
In memory of Nick Bollettieri, TENNIS.com proudly presents “Nick’s Notes,” an exclusive look at tips, tricks, and takes written by one of the greatest coaches of the modern era.
First up: Nick’s observations from coaching nine-time Grand Slam champion Monica Seles:
Let’s just get right to the point! Monica Seles was far from being athletic. Yet once again, she was not one to say, “WHY me?” Instead, she agreed to find a way to offset her lack of athleticism.
Monica taught me to accept my unorthodox body. However, she taught me to focus on the fact that I had quick hands and eyes, and an ability to stand right on the baseline.
And guess what? I learned of her ability to hit with both hands from both sides, making contact with the ball so early that her opponents had very little time to get in position. They could not even get their racquet on the ball.
All of you can learn so much from the several hours Monica put into hitting at targets placed in key locations. This deliberate style of practice, along with help from her father, brother, and I continued seven days a week and well after sunset!
Not many players will stand inside the baseline for the entire match.
Yes, Monica Seles’ career never reached the point she expected it to, all because of a tragic attack by a spectator.
The entire Bollettieri family thanks you Monica for your love, support, and being by my side when inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame!
A Tip from Monica Seles: All players should spend half of their practice-time inside the baseline, learning how to make early contact. By doing this, you will develop a habit of coming forward, especially on defensive returns or weak second serves.