By Karen Pestaina
(August 29, 2013) NEW YORK, NY – Former top US Junior, collegiate player and ATP World Tour player Bobby Blair who lived in the closet as a gay athlete announced his upcoming book “Hiding Inside the Baseline,” in addition to hi LBGT foundation at the Roger Smith Hotel on Thursday morning.
In attendance to speak and support Blair were his former coach Nick Bollettieri, LZ Granderson of ESPN, co-author of his book – Barry Buss and friend and former tennis academy classmate Carling Bassett-Seguso and Luke Jensen.
Blair was an American professional tennis player in the 80s and ranked in the top five tennis players in the United States Nationally in the Boys 18 and under, was a member of the 1983 US Junior Davis Cup Team reaching the finals of The USTA Boys 18 and under National Clay Courts Championships in the summer of 1983 where he lost a three-set marathon match to future top 10 player in the world Aaron Krickstein.
Blair was one of the first top-ranked players who were developed at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy. Blair was an All American at the University of Arkansas in 1986 and was ranked among the top 5 Division One singles players in the United States, a member of the 1986 US Junior Davis Cup College Team and participated in Russia as a member of the American team in the US Goodwill Games.
Blair founded the US Rookie Professional Tennis Team in 1988. In 1990, Blair was hired to serve as the head coach for Billie Jean King for the World Team Tennis Franchise Wellington Aces for the 1990 & 1991 season. In 1992, Blair was hired as head coach and general manager of the World Team Tennis Franchise Tampa Bay Action. In 1992 Blair started his own Tennis Academy with a World Tennis Magazine “collectors edition” feature story “Will Bobby Blair Be The Next Nick Bollettieri?” Blair was hired in 1996 as a USTA National Coach.
Listen to the news conference below: