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Iconic tennis journalist Bud Collins dead at 86

Venus Williams and sister Serena Williams are interviewed by Bud Collins at the DIRECTV ESPN US Open Experience promoting DIRECTV's mosaic coverage of the US Open August 26, 2009 at Bryant Park in New York City.

2009 Rob Tringali, Getty Images

Hall of Fame tennis journalist Bud Collins has died at the age of 86, the United States Tennis Association confirmed on Friday.

Collins, who was elected into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1994, was also elected to the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame in 2002.

The Boston Globe reported that Collins' health had been in decline for the past couple of years.

Known for his signature bowties, colorful pants and vibrant personality, Collins launched his career with the Boston Globe and also worked as a CBS Sports commentator from 1968-1972. He would ultimately spend many years working as a broadcast analyst for NBC and ESPN.

According to the Tennis Hall of Fame, Collins "covered more major championships than any American reporter, and has always conveyed his ample knowledge of the sport with an infectious enthusiasm."

Athletes and sports journalists took to social media to react to the news of Collins' death: