Five questions with Nick Bollettieri

It's somewhat ironic that given the jumbling, jostling world in which Nick Bollettieri lives, patience ultimately prevailed.

A coaching legend who has impacted the careers of 10 former No. 1 players, Bollettieri had been snubbed from joining the all-time greats in the International Tennis Hall of Fame, so much so that a Facebook petition page to have him inducted was created, not to mention the outcry of former players like Jim Courier, who called his omission "a joke."

Bollettieri, though, ignored it all and kept on doing that he does: fostering the careers of ultra-talented players at his academy in Bradenton, Florida. Humbled yet unabashed in speaking to his credentials, Bollettieri, at 82 years old, finally received the Hall call, thanks in large part to some sage advice passed down to him years ago.

"I think my daddy said when you do things that people think you're crazy for doing, you have to promote yourself," Bollettieri recently told ESPN.com. "You'll have a lot of critics, but my daddy said: 'Let the critics keep on talking; don't argue with them. But keep doing what you think is correct.'

"And that's what I did. I didn't argue with the critics. I never paid attention to it. I just kept on going."

All the way to Newport, Rhode Island, that is. And let's just say the coaching legend soaked it all in.

"Seeing all the people who supported me," Bollettieri said. "They said I had the biggest turnout of any individual who's ever been inducted. Those are the people who helped me get into the Hall of Fame. It was the team of people -- friends and family who supported me and who helped me financially. They're the ones responsible for me getting that award."

Now as a newly minted member of this exclusive club, Bollettieri took a few minutes to reflect on his long wait and a few other hot topics around the tennis circle these days.

How was the weekend different than you expected?

"No one can really predict how it's going to unfold and how you're going to act until your name comes up. And then Mary Carillo inducts you, and then you're asked to speak. I don't think you can plan for it. You can have a speech ready -- and I did. I think it went over really well. But until you sit in that seat and they say, 'Nick, this is your day,' it's totally different. You get a little nervous, but you get the nerves to speak up and express your gratitude to the people who made it possible."

Thoughts on the Serena Williams episode at Wimbledon?

"I've never seen anything like it, and I was part of the Williams team for years and am still close with them. All I can say is that it's over, and let's move forward because we need Serena to keep on playing. But I have never seen anything like that in my 60 years of tennis. ... I expect her to come swinging from her hips like a cowboy. I don't think Serena Williams is finished -- I really don't. I think there's something inside she's battling through. From the time she started with her daddy and Venus, I was fortunate to be part of her career and am still very, very, very close to Serena, but I don't see Serena going out the way she did at the French and at Wimbledon."

Reality of Roger Federer?

"First of all, the influence of Stefan Edberg has given Federer an excellent chance to win another major. But it would be almost impossible for Roger to win staying on the baseline. No. 2, I believe the bigger racket has helped him with his one-handed backhand by preventing a lot of the shanks. Edberg has him standing closer to the baseline, hitting over the ball with his one-handed backhand. But the racket has helped him with his serve, and Edberg has helped him by coming to the net. I'll say it again, though: Roger Federer doesn't have a chance to win another major by duking it out from the baseline. His serve, his movement are fantastic, and if you notice, he's hitting over his backhand a lot more instead of slicing 90 percent of the time."

Changing of the guard in tennis?

"Wait a minute now. Possible changing of the guard. Aside from [Milos Raonic and Grigor Dimitrov], Kei Nishikori is for real. And what makes it interesting is that the top dogs don't have an easy round anymore. Because the rabbits on the circuit want to become famous overnight and beat some of the elite players. Raonic is for real; Dimitrov is certainly for real. And you've got several other good ones. The men's circuit right now is very, very, very healthy."

Simona Halep or Eugenie Bouchard?

Halep is 5-foot-6 and a bundle of dynamite. She moves well, she retrieves extremely well. She makes you miss; she makes you overhit. Bouchard has a little bit over everything. She has to learn to play a little more defensively once in a while, but she looks like she's for real. We're seeing some young ladies coming up, 18, 19, 20 years old, which is a little unusual, but they're for real. Madison Keys is good. Sloane Stephens, Bouchard, Halep are some of the young ones who are really good. I don't believe an 18- or 19-year-old boy could make it on tour these days, but these girls have a legitimate shot.