Stefanos and Apostolos Tsitsipas - Shanghai Masters 2023

Stefanos Tsitsipas in coaching U-turn claiming father’s ‘here to stay’

Stefanos Tsitsipas has revealed that his coaching relationship with Mark Philippoussis has officially come to an end, with the 25-year-old claiming that he was ‘losing his identity’ under the Aussie’s mentorship. 

Tsitsipas has made several changes to his coaching setup in recent months and revealed prior to the US Open that he had restarted working with Philippoussis, who would be sharing the role with his father Apostolos.

The new setup started off as well as it possibly could have, with the Greek winning his 10th career title at the ATP 250 event in Los Cabos.

However, since winning his only title of the year, Tsitsipas has failed to win back-to-back matches at four consecutive tournaments and has revealed that the relationship ended with Philippoussis after his second round exit at the US Open.

“Mark Philippoussis is not part of the team anymore. I wanted to try with a coach and I wanted to see how that might work,” said Tsitsipas.

“It was a little bit off-tune in many ways and not having the prescient of my dad there sort of felt like I was losing part of my identity as a player. I wasn’t able to adjust to the new form or ways of teaching or methods that were applied by Mark, who I admire and liked watching a lot on TV when I was younger.”

Tsitsipas has returned to his original coaching setup with his father at the Shanghai Masters, where he was a semi-finalist last time the event was held in 2019, and has suggested this will be his setup for the foreseeable future.

“My dad has always been next to me,” claimed the world No.5. “Even when he was not there and people didn’t see him he was always there by my side digitally.

The Australian Open finalist added, “He’s here to stay. I have no intention of ever changing my dad or pushing him away. People are always going to try and create rumours or try and destroy what you have with someone that is really close to you in any way or form. He’s someone that cannot be excluded.”

Tsitsipas will begin his campaign at the penultimate Masters 1000 event of the year in the second round, after receiving a bye as the fourth seed, where he will play either Laslo Djere or Rinky Hijikata.

Inside the baseline… 

The aim for Tsitsipas should be to maintain some stability in terms of his coaching setup, as it can be no coincidence that his recent results have been affected amidst these changes. Despite his woes in recent months, Tsitsipas is still in a strong position to reach the year-end ATP Finals and should focus on picking his form back up to secure a place in Turin.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.