Bud Collins, famed tennis commentator, passes Friday

Bud Collins, who wrote his way into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, died on Friday. He was 86.

For nearly 40 years, Bud Collins called the Colony Beach and Tennis Resort on Longboat Key his home for the winter.

According to his wife, Anita Ruthling Klaussen, Collins died Friday, March 4, at home in Brookline, Massachusetts, after suffering from Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

Famous for his deep love of the game, and for his colorful and sometimes outlandish mode of dress, Collins was a writer for The Boston Globe and an analyst for CBS and NBC.

In 2015, the United States Tennis Association named the sprawling media center at its U.S. Open site in his honor. The inscription on the plaque reads: “Journalist, Commentator, Historian, Mentor, Friend.”

Collins introduced the intricacies of the simple yet complex game, its heroes and the unrelenting rivalries they produced: Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe, Steffi Graf and Monica Seles, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert.

Collins was also famous for his signature vibrant, colorful pants and zany bow ties.

He is enshrined in the International Tennis Hall of Fame and winner of the nation’s highest sports writing honor, the Red Smith Award.

His epic book — “The Bud Collins History of Tennis” — is the history of tennis, and although he thought he was no good at it, he could play tennis as well. He was a nimble athlete who won the U.S. Indoor mixed doubles championship (with Janet Hopps), and was a finalist in the French Senior doubles (with Jack Crawford).

Collins is survived by his wife, the photographer Anita Ruthling Klaussen.

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