Max Mirnyi just won the ATP World Championships Doubles Title and his coach and mentor, Nick Bollettieri, wanted to let Max know how special he is to both Nick and the Academy.
Max Mirnyi and his dad Nikolai left Belarus more than two decades ago and landed in New York with just $30 in their pockets. They had heard about the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida and made their way to the Sunshine State. I saw the raw talent and determination in this young man and immediately offered him a scholarship to train with me. He has maintained his childhood enthusiasm for physical fitness and on-court training, even though he is one of the finest doubles players in the history of the game.
Max spent the weeks before the ATP World Championships training at the IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy. There, he practiced against the pros and against the juniors, which is a testimony to his down-to-earth personality. Max is happy in his own skin. He has more than 30 ATP titles under his belt, but remains the same, warm young man that walked into my Academy more than 20 years ago. He remembers the trials and tribulations of his own personal journey up the ranking ladder and is always willing to help with a word of advice, a pat on the back or an encouraging smile.
In closing, let me say that Max now is a husband and father of two young girls. Although he was given a scholarship when he was just 12 years old, he has more than paid his debt. The man that he has become, his support of the Academy, its students and parents make him a giant among men. There's an old adage that says, âTo him that is given much, much is expected.â Max, your debt has been paid in full!
- Nick Bollettieri