Wimbledon 2015 - Nick Bollettieri: 10 things I learnt during this year’s tournament...

As the SW19 fun draws to a close, Nick Bollettieri reveals why he’d like to coach Kyrgios, why he’s impressed with Pospisil and why it’s just like being in Florida

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1. Best match

Richard Gasquet’s five-set win over Stan Wawrinka. That was a fabulous match, the battle of the backhands. Some of it was beautiful to watch and there were tension and drama too. It had everything you want in a tennis match and it underlined there can be great matches without Roger, Novak, Andy or Rafa playing.

2. Best shot

I love the one-handed backhand down the line. It is not seen so much these days but there were some great examples in the Gasquet-Wawrinka match. Federer has played some beauties, too. 

3. The girl I’d like to coach

I was impressed by Margarita Gasparyan. She’s a tall,  20-year-old Russian who’s outside the top 100 but climbing the rankings fast. She was not here long, and she lost her only match 6-4, 6-1, but it was against Serena Williams and much closer than the scoreline suggested.

She has the tools to work with, technically and mentally. She has a big forehand, an excellent one-handed backhand and a good first serve (though the second needs work). She approached the match positively and dealt well with the fact she was playing Serena on a show court. I thought she was very good. One to watch.

4. The guy I’d like to coach

Nick Kyrgios would be a challenge to coach, but that is part of the attraction. It would be very intriguing to see if you could get that guy to really be what Australia would like, and what the world would like, because he is a character and he is good for tennis.

Fans like him as he is exciting, different, he breaks the normal rules of appearance. He’s got charisma. I know there was that incident with Gasquet, when he seemed to give up on a game, but those things happen with a character like that. You are not going to make him perfect; if you try and change his character he will lose part of his game,  so you have to go with it, channel it.

He’s only 20, he’s made a couple of Grand Slam quarter-finals, and he got to 25 in the world (he’s 29 now). It would be interesting to get him into the top 10, and see what would happen from there.

5. The coach who I want to congratulate

Thumbs up for the fantastic job Amélie Mauresmo has done with Andy Murray. When she was appointed there was a lot of “Wow, are you crazy? Are you kidding me?” from people. She came through with flying colours and I would like to tell her “you did a helluva job, and good luck with the baby”.

6. a) Best newcomer (men)

Vasek Pospisil ran up against the Murray brothers, Andy in the singles, Jamie in the doubles. I think Jamie taking him to five sets softened him up for Andy, but though he lost to both Murrays he showed he has talent. He is a good, solid player with good movement and fine ground strokes. I’d expect the Canadian to be much higher than 56 when he comes back next year, though if he is, he will have to make a decision about how much doubles he continues to play.

6. b) Best newcomer (women)

It is hard to look beyond  Garbine Muguruza. Heck, that’s no easy path to the final she’s had. She’s come into this tournament like a tornado, blowing away four top-16 seeds, and she won’t take a step back just because it is Serena across the net today. You don’t normally see Spanish girls looking so at home on grass but she could be another Conchita Martinez.

7. a) Biggest disappointment (men)

I had high hopes for Kei Nishikori, who is a magician, but he had to pull out after aggravating a calf injury in the first round.

Borna Coric is a tremendous young player, but he was taken to 9-7 in the fifth in the first round against Sergiy Stakhovsky and that must have taken a lot out of him as he then lost to Andreas Seppi in five sets, barely winning a game in the forth and fifth.

Nadal losing early was not a surprise to me given his form in the last two to three months. He is not finished by any means but he needs to take some time off and get himself right.

7. b) Biggest disappointment (women)

Petra Kvitova was absolutely on fire in the opening rounds. I thought she was nailed on to face Serena today and it was a big surprise when she went out to Jelena Jankovic. Another result that blindsided me was Simona Halep losing in the first round to Jana Cepelova.

8. Biggest surprise

The weather. It is just like being at home in Florida (in our winter anyway). That roof will have cobwebs on it.

9. Second biggest surprise

Gasquet going as far as he has. Though maybe we should not have been so surprised. Everybody forgets he moves well, he never loses his composure, and he is a tough cookie. It  is not easy to beat him.  When Novak broke him at the start yesterday, people will have thought “here we  go”, but he immediately  broke back.

10. What I’ll remember

The unique ambience that makes Wimbledon special. I love the way the ball girls and ball boys are so smart and so perfectly trained. It is like a military parade when all  the rifles are perfectly drilled. The neat way they gather  the ball, they  are so quick and tidy.

And I love Henman Hill, Murray Mound, whatever you call it. Sitting up there is better than sitting inside the court. You can talk and bullshit, there’s no “quiet please”, everyone is yakking away and drinking their wine, beer and Pimm’s.

I’ll get a reminder of this wonderful fortnight when my credit-card bill comes in. When you go into the pro shop at Wimbledon you’d better bring all your savings. I spent all the money The Independent have paid me in that shop.

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