In the world of the mid-1980s, the USSR led (it occupied, rather) the communist bloc. And in that world of the mid-1980s, and of any decade chosen at random from the last centuries, the United States represented capitalism as nobody else. All the United States? No, not all. Within the United States, in the manner of a Gallic village whose inhabitants were more Roman than the Romans themselves, the Academy of Nick Bollettieri demanded of a capitalist the greatest of understandings; In a way, Bollettieri was the version of capitalism that neither Wall Street dared to reach. Under a regime of extreme competition, Bollettieri raised in captivity the future stars of tennis. Chavales that his guru stripped of their families to play with the emotions of the promises and put them at the disposal of the only thing that was worthwhile: victory. Bollettieri was the best; that meant, in an academy like his, that everything was worth to get it.
There went to the son of a half-crazy Iranian ex-boxer, who had subjected his son to some trainings with machines and speed to keep him awake. A handsome and short guy whose rebellion and charisma made him a leader among his companions. Also ended there a kid who was quickly the object of ridicule and pranks of the Agassi clan: Jim Courier. Courier explains it in a documentary directed by Jon Khon. That account and the importance that the figure of Bollettieri had for the children: his parents separated from their lives, he was a coach and a false father. "We disputed his love. We wanted him to spend more time with us than the other. Not only because we improved with him[[Sharapova revealed a few months ago that Bollettieri, 87, made her friend's price for one hour of track: 900 dollars], but because he was like a father figure, "says Courier
The Bollettieri Academy lived one of its first big days in Paris. His two most promising kids, two children who had grown up with him, crossed in the third round of Roland Garros. They were 18 years old each when they entered a track full of American televisions focused on what, they smelled, inaugurated a new era behind the old idols McEnroe and Connors; in fact, Pete Sampras also flourished with them.
That's how the country was when Nick Bollettieri arrived at the Roland Garros court. Agassi and Courier were natural talent and work, charisma and efficiency, Las Vegas and Sanford, Florida, the projection of a star and the bomber that threatened to tear down its foundations. The future Pepsi boy, Nike and Brooke Shields against a boy Diadora wore. The aristocracy that is born with vested rights and the type that conquers them.
And that guy, Jimbo Courier, when in his match against Agassi in Paris raised his head looking for his coach, Nick Bollettieri, found him in his rival's box. "He celebrated his points, he applauded them; He kept quiet and serious when I won, "he said years later. Dad had chosen.
Courier played that game devastated. He finished with Bollettieri as soon as he left the track. Before, it was over with Agassi. The two cited two years later in the final: again Courier knocked down the genius of Las Vegas. "I just went with the best, and the best was André," says Bollettieri. He was right, again: the legend was going to be Agassi and his legendary eye detected it instantly. When he saw the diamond, as it did with Seles and Williams, he could wipe out anything, taking those who were in his way out of his way, whether they were twenty or ten years old. "I am a winner and I surround myself with winners. (…) You can not get to the top without doing anything bad ", ditch. He talks about himself in the third person: "Nick does not look back, I could not even tell you the names of my eight wives."
What is the price of things? Are there any without price? The Bollettieri documentary, for those interested in these questions, is titled Love is worth nothing.
On Sunday the final of the Shanghai Masters is celebrated; this Friday the two favorites play: Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.