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My Aces, My Faults Hardcover – August, 1996

3.2 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The Bollettieri Tennis and Sports Academy in Bradenton, Fla., has produced world-class tennis players Andre Agassi, Monica Seles and Mary Pierce and, in the case of Boris Becker, revitalized the career of a former star. In this captivatingly gossipy autobiography written with Schaap (Instant Replay), Bollettieri tells how he became the world's best tennis coach (his assessment) and how he winged it as an expert until he actually became one. He reveals details of his dealings with the difficult adolescence of Agassi, the grasping family of Seles and the unpleasant father of Pierce. And Bollettieri does not attempt to gloss over his own failings, conceding that he may have pushed some very young players too hard too fast and that he should not have broken off his relationship with Agassi. A revealing book.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Bollettieri is arguably the best tennis coach in the world--and certainly the most controversial. He has guided the careers of many of the sport's best: Agassi, Becker, and Courier, among others. Coauthored by Schaap, one of sports journalism's most respected craftsmen, this few-holds-barred autobiography tells the story of a young man who made tennis his career because he thought it could make him rich. It did, eventually. The key to his success has been the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, a combination summer camp, boarding school, and boot camp in which talented young players prosper against the best competition. In recent years, Bollettieri has guided many of tennis' premier players, though his tenure with each of them has been short. He seems to be the tennis equivalent of baseball's late great Billy Martin--able to take off-course individuals and turn them into winners--but, like Martin, his act wears thin. Bollettieri peppers his tale with notes, quotes, and comments from both admirers and detractors; offers wonderful insights into many of tennis' top names; and often makes himself the butt of his own jokes. He's not the tennis devil as many contend nor is he an angel. Instead, he's one of those rare individuals who has managed to live life on his own terms, and with tennis continuing to grow in popularity, there are sure to be many fans eager to read about how he's done it. Wes Lukowsky

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 346 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Books (T); 1st edition (August 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380973065
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380973064
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,295,402 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Works better as a gosippy tell-all on the early lives of the players his brutal boot camp helped make famous than it does as anything else. At times Bolletteri's ego speaks a little too loudly and the pace of the book bogs down because of things like the printing of letters he wrote to his one-time students. The man many consider the greatest tennis coach of all time admits here that those who charged he pushed teenagers too far too fast in pursuit of champions, were probably right. He tells some funny stories, like one about Andre Agassi having a collection of empty whiskey bottles in his room, even though no one ever saw the teen drinking and he was monitered almost around the clock as part of the regimented curriculum: a mystery to this day. I used to imagine what it would be like at this famous camp but after reading this book I was so turned off by the military school-like atmosphere described that I'm glad imagining is all I ever did. I guess the jury will always be out on Nick Bollettieri's role in the rise to fame of so many of those who spent time at his Florida center. Some like Mary Pierce credit Bollettieri with making them their best; others downplay their former coach's contribution. This is Nick Bollettieri's chance to put in his two-cents worth, and he does...or maybe it's more like a dollar's worth.
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Format: Hardcover
The tennis touring players of today often have a logo or two on their sleeve during a televised match. It’s something for which they are handsomely compensated. Nick Bollettieri, arguably one of the best tennis coaches of the Open Era, is known for wearing his emotions on this sleeve. In his autobiography ‘ My Aces, My Faults’ Nick brings another attribute to the sleeve – perspective.

As a tennis coach few if any others beside Bollettieri have brought to the court as many players who have gone on to become number one in the world. Counting those who have become a top ten player without achieving the elusive number 1 the number is even greater.

His passion for coaching as an avocation is clear and well documented. It’s taken a heavy toll on three marriages and subsequent progeny. So, too, it seems is the case with his relationship with myriad players with whom he has worked. Nick makes few apologies acknowledging the hectic pace and demands placed on the retinue of support staff for a touring professional tennis player. A central figure in this cast of characters is the coach.

Agassi, Becker, Courier, Gilbert, Philippoussis, Pierce, Kournikova, Hass, Hill, Seles, Bassett, Mayotte, Arias and others figure prominently. So, too, the credit he gives his parents and Italian-American work ethic that provided the support and foundation for his success.

Of particular interest to this reviewer is the time Bollettieri has taken to exorcise some of the interpersonal demons that have strained friendships forged after years of hard work. He shares his angst in very personal letters to both Becker and Agassi.
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By A Customer on June 24, 1997
Format: Hardcover
In a very interesting book, Nick Bolliteri reveals what really is going on in the world of professional tennis. In a detailed description, he shows his evolution from an amateur tennis coach to the world's best known tennis guru. With a separate chapter for each of his famous students, Nick answeres a lot of questions about his choices, his aces and his faults. It would be interesting to read a sequel for this book, to find out how the new generation of tennis players influenced Nick's vision of the tennis world
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Format: Paperback
I must begin this book review by saying I had no opinion of Nick Bollettieri prior to reading this book other than I was aware of who he was, that he had a tennis complex in Florida for young tennis players, and that he coached some the games biggest tennis players. After reading this book, I now feel I know much more about Nick Bollettieri...unfortunately, that is not a good thing.
Initially, I found this book to be only slightly annoying as it focused on "fluff filled" stories centered around Nick Bollettieri and how he "evolved" into a tennis coach. As the book continued, I became increasingly irritated as Nick described in great detail the reason he felt he was the driving force behind the success of Andre Aggasi, Jim Courier, Boris Becker, Monica Seles, etc. In addition, Nick complained about the lack of respect he received from all of these players (i.e. they didn't pay him enough for his total dedication to their careers). In the end, all of these players left Nick and every relationship ended badly with Nick describing in great detail why it wasn't his fault and that the player owed him money.
In summary, if you are looking for a book to learn something about how to play the game of tennis, this is not the book for you. If you are looking for an annoying, long-winded story about a man with an inflated sense of self-importance, you have found the right book.
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By A Customer on November 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
Nick is simply telling you about his life. I expected the book to contain more information on specific tennis knowledge that could help a player improve his game, but I guess Nick does not have any. Or maybe he will not tell you about them unless you enroll in his expensive academy. However, Nick worked hard in his life and that is what you can hear about again, rather than learn, from this book - it takes hard work and dedication to be successful. If you are looking to improve your game, DO NOT buy this book. If you are trying to kill time or want to know more about Nick, buy it.
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