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Aussie great Mark Philippoussis taken back after two-month tennis break up

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Mark Philippoussis has returned to be part of Stefanos Tsitsipas’ coaching team just 60 days after the pair went their separate ways.

According to reports in Greek news outlets, Philippoussis’ return means a major shake-up to the world No. 5’s inner sanctum with dad Apostolos to be removed from his player’s box in non-grand slam events.

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The news that Philippoussis had split from Tsitsipas in May left fans devastated with the Australian great known to have been a stabilising, calm influence on the tennis star, who has famously struggled to keep a harmonious relationship with his mum and dad.

The former Wimbledon finalist is now returning to work with Tsitsipas through to the end of the year under revised contractual terms, according to Greek news site Sports DNA.

He has already been seen with Tsitsipas at the Los Cabas Open in Mexico this week and is expected to continue to work with Tsitsipas during the US Open, beginning August 28.

Philippoussis has been working with Tsitsipas in some capacity since February, 2020, and have enjoyed success together with Tsitsipas reaching the French Open final in 2021 and the Australian Open final in January.

Philippoussis and Apostolos worked together for several years in coaching the 24-year-old, who said at the French Open he was at a stage of his career where ne needed a “less is more” approach surrounding his coaching set up.

That has changed dramatically in the space of 60 days.

Apostolos has coached his son for his entire career. The tennis star’s mum Julia Apostoli, who is a Russian-born Greek former professional player, has also been a voice in his players box.

Tsitsipas was heard yelling towards his box during his semi-final loss at the Italian Open in May and appeared to ask her to leave.

Julia was then seen walking up a few stairs and sat on a different seat.

Tennis commentator Nick Lester said on TV at the time Tsitsipas was furious at her for giving instructions while speaking in Russian — during his match against Russian star Daniil Medvedev, who went on to win the tournament.

Tsitsipas could be heard saying: “Are you stupid?”

Philippoussis had previously mentored Tsitsipas on a casual basis before he joined the team in an official coaching capacity in July, 2022, following Tsitsipas’ infamous meltdown during his loss to Nick Kyrgios at Wimbledon.

Philippoussis’ influence was widely credited for being one of the most significant factors in Tsitsipas’ run through to the final of the Australian Open in January.

Tsitsipas was full of praise for Philippoussis and described him as a calming influence during the Aussie Open.

He said in May when confirming the split that he still enjoyed a good relationship with the Australian.

“I’m at a phase of my career in life where I need one coach that can provide all the information, all the analysis, all of the things that I’m looking for to improve my game,” he said.

“Less is more, in my opinion. I love Mark. He’s an amazing person, and we still stay in touch with him very often.

“I guess, you know, that’s how it’s going to be from now on, and I’m happy with this decision. Of course I’m sure he supports me, and he’s there for me whenever I need anything. That’s it.”

Philippoussis confirmed they had parted ways with a classy message on Instagram, which included a photo of himself with Tsitsipas at Wimbledon.

“Thank for the opportunity of being a part of your team,” he wrote.

“It was a great ride and experience, I’m proud of what we achieved together in the short amount of time we had. I wish you health, happiness and success for your future, on and off the court.”

Tsitsipas insisted in March that there was no friction in the team regarding Philippoussis’ position. Since that comment, Philippoussis has left and now returned.

“Mark is a very wise man, he has a lot of knowledge,” he said at Indian Wells.

“I think the fact that he’s lived these things himself on the tour and he’s able to provide some [advice] to me now is essential. He provides a lot of feedback. He can relate to a lot of things that have happened to me and sees a little bit of himself in me in some circumstances and situations.

“The reason Mark is part of the team is because the dynamic has showed that it’s good.

“There hasn’t been any friction. It’s been going well. We get along well, all of us. We understand each other.

“There’s never misunderstandings or things that lead to conflict. I’m enjoying this.”

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