Zee Media Bureau
New York: Bud Collins, the pioneering American tennis journalist and television sportscaster, has died at age 86, his long-time newspaper the Boston Globe reported.
Collins, who was best known for his flamboyant trousers and tennis expertise, died Friday at his home in the Boston suburb of Brookline, Massachusetts, after suffering from Parkinson's disease and dementia.
Collins made one of his final public appearances last September, when the media center at the US Open was named in his honor, and he wrote both an encyclopedia and history of tennis that became authoritative standards in the sport.
"No media figure in history in my mind has ever been as important to one sport as Bud Collins was to the sport of tennis," said Mike Lupica, the New York Daily News sports columnist and ESPN commentator who followed the path Collins pioneered from the print ranks to TV fame.
"You can't minimize it. He became the de facto ambassador to that sport as it was exploding in this country. He educated. He entertained."
Collins, who paved the way for newspaper reporters moving into broadcasting, had his first byline for the Globe in 1963 from Australia covering the Davis Cup. His last came in 2011, a story about Serena Williams from the US Open.
He covered Wimbledon 44 times, the first of them in 1968, making "Breakfast at Wimbledon" his realm during the years when the sport enjoyed its greatest US interest.
Collins was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1994. He was married to photographer Anita Ruthling Klaussen.
(With AFP inputs)